The United States Supreme Court’s decision to stay implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan won’t slow down the surge of renewable energy investment that is sweeping the country, leading clean energy groups concluded in their morning-after analysis.
Nor does the ruling undermine the solid legal foundation behind the CPP, the organizations stressed. News reports emphasized that the Court did not comment on the merits of the plan. It only postponed implementation until legal challenges can be heard.
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“The Supreme Court’s highly unusual action flies in the face of common sense. Experts agree that the Clean Power Plan is on solid legal ground and will prevail based on the merits,” said Sam Adams, director of the World Resources Institute’s U.S. Climate Initiative. “We expect this ruling to be only a temporary ‘time out’ as the plan heads to full implementation.”
He added that “the shift to a strong, low-carbon economy has already crossed major thresholds, where energy from renewables is often cheaper than traditional fuels. Many states, cities, businesses, and others are embracing this future.”
David Doniger, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s climate and clean energy program, agreed that the U.S. electricity sector “has embarked on an unstoppable shift from its high-pollution, dirty-fueled past to a safer, cleaner-powered future, and the stay cannot reverse that trend. Nor can it dampen the overwhelming public support for action on climate change and clean energy.”
The U.S. Environmental Defense Fund said oral arguments against the CPP will be heard in D.C. Circuit Court June 2. News reports indicated that subsequent appeals could take a subsequent Supreme Court decision past the end of the Obama presidency. This opens the possibility that the next president might modify the plan or delay implementation.
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