U.S. Supreme Court Clean Power Plan Decision Disappoints

posted on Wednesday, February 10, 2016

This summer, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized the Clean Power Plan, a landmark standard that sets the first-ever federal limits on carbon pollution from power plants.

By establishing state-specific carbon pollution reduction goals based on each state’s energy portfolio, the Clean Power Plan will cut 32% of carbon pollution from U.S. power plants by 2030 (from 2005 levels). Since its finalization, several states, corporations and industry groups have challenged the standard in the courts.

On Tuesday, February 9, 2016, in an unprecedented move, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-to-4 to issue a stay on the Clean Power Plan until litigation surrounding the standard concludes.

We are disappointed with the Supreme Court’s decision to stay the Clean Power Plan, a reasonable standard that benefits Iowa’s economy, protects our communities, safeguards our working lands and strengthens our energy independence.

Iowa is a national clean energy leader and has steadily increased wind, solar and energy efficiency in the state over the last ten years. As a result, Iowa is well-positioned to meet its carbon pollution reduction goal under the Clean Power Plan, and to seize economic opportunities to sell clean energy and services to neighboring states that are less prepared to meet their goals. It is disappointing that these foot-dragging states have succeeded in temporarily stalling the Clean Power Plan, which is built on a sound legal and technical foundation, until litigation concludes.

The U.S. Supreme Court has already upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to limit carbon pollution under the Clean Air Act. We are confident it will uphold the Clean Power Plan as well. We look forward to continuing to work with Iowa’s leaders to maximize the state’s potential for continued clean energy growth and development.

The court order is available on the U.S. Supreme Court's website.

  1. carbon pollution
  2. clean energy
  3. solar power
  4. wind power