The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to rule next week on whether it will go along with President Trump’s executive order on reversing Obama-era climate change regulations affecting coal-fired power plants, according to the president of a coal group involved in the underlying litigation.
“We support [the Department of Justice] asking the court to hold the Clean Power Plan in abeyance, no doubt about that,” said Paul Bailey, the president and CEO of the pro-coal American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, in an interview with the Washington Examiner.
“We think that’s the right approach,” he said, conceding that the real wild card is the court itself. “We don’t know whether the D.C. Circuit will agree to hold the rule in abeyance.”
Bailey talked to the Washington Examiner after being briefed by industry attorneys. “We think we could hear from the court next week about … whether they will hold the rule [their decision] in abeyance,” he said. “But we don’t know yet.”
Like many of Trump’s other executive actions, the federal court system has played a major role in weighing just how far the president can go using his executive authority.
President Trump’s Energy Independence Executive Order directs the Environmental Protection Agency to initiate a review of the Obama-era climate rules, called the Clean Power Plan, to begin the process of scrapping it. But before it does that, the administration wants the court’s blessing, so to speak. But it’s hard to say if it will give it. It’s been doing its own review of the regulation since September and should be close to issuing a decision.
The Justice Department asked the court two weeks ago to hold its decision in abeyance to allow the EPA time to conduct its review, per Trump’s order. The court is reviewing a lawsuit filed by a group of 28 state attorneys general in 2015 and dozens of groups, claiming the Clean Power Plan oversteps EPA’s authority and is unconstitutional. Bailey’s group is a party to that litigation.