Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied requests by industry and allied states to temporarily stay the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, which sets the first-ever federal carbon pollution limits for our nation's electric power plants.
The following statement is from Howard Fox of Earthjustice, co-counsel for Sierra Club, which has intervened in support of the Plan:
"The Clean Power Plan is a vital, common-sense safeguard that builds on existing trends towards low-polluting electric power. The result will be a significant dent in the U.S.'s largest source of carbon emissions—pollution that is causing serious impacts including floods, droughts, and wildfires. Smog and soot will also go down, preventing large numbers of premature deaths, hospitalizations for asthma and bronchitis, and other illnesses.
"The Plan offers plenty of time for states and power companies to plan reductions, so we agree with the court there is no need to put the Plan on hold while court challenges are being considered. By denying a stay, the court allows progress in fighting carbon pollution to continue—benefiting people throughout the nation. And that progress must happen. If we are to avoid the worst harms from a warming climate, power plants must move promptly to cut the huge amounts of long-lasting carbon pollution they pump into our air each year.
"Recognizing the need to move decisively away from carbon pollution and towards clean energy, an unprecedented coalition has intervened in court to defend the Clean Power Plan. Among those joining the Environmental Protection Agency in opposing the court challenges are state, county and municipal governments; power companies; renewable energy producers; companies that specialize in helping businesses and consumers save energy; businesses that use energy; and public health and environmental groups."