Obama's 'War on Coal' Begins Today—and Faces Army of Lawyers

EPA chief pushed for 'airtight' Clean Power Plan
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2015 5:45 AM CDT
Updated Aug 3, 2015 7:12 AM CDT
Obama Climate Plan Will Face Legal Onslaught
Smoke rises from the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, a coal burning power plant in in Colstrip, Mont.    (AP Photo/Matthew Brown, File)

President Obama will officially unveil his plan to dramatically cut greenhouse-gas emissions later today—and there is an army of lawyers ready to pounce. The Clean Power plan imposes tough limits on power plant emissions and dozens of corporations are preparing to fight what they call a "war on coal," as well as up to 25 states, reports the New York Times. The measure will give each state an emission-cutting target to meet, with a goal of cutting power-plant emissions by around a third by 2030, but several governors have already said they plan to simply ignore the limit, setting up legal battles expected to end up before the Supreme Court, the BBC reports. The court blocked an emissions-limiting plan in June.

The Environmental Protection Agency, however, sounds as if it is ready for the fight. 'We certainly know how to defend against lawsuits, for crying out loud," EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said last month when she was asked about looming challenges to the plan. An administration insider tells the Washington Post that McCarthy was under a lot of pressure to create a legally solid rule—especially after the Supreme Court defeat. "She recognized the amount of scrutiny this rule will be under, both politically and legally,” the source says. “She has been leading the charge to ensure that it is airtight, that all the legal t’s are crossed and i’s dotted, and that it adheres strictly to the Clean Air Act." (More Clean Power Plan stories.)

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