Some lawyers say there is no harm in piling on when adding causes of action to a law suit. Assuming the claims are defensible, this may be true. Opponents of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA” or “Agency”) Clean Power Plan (“Rule”), however, seem to believe that their suit chock-full of legal challenges may be hindering their efforts to receive an expeditious ruling.
Yesterday, the group of 27 states, utilities, trade groups and unions, filed a motion with the federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit requesting that the Court “bifurcate the briefing between the fundamental legal issues and individual record-based challenges.”
Count Maine “in” as one of the 18 states filing a motion to intervene to defend the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA” or “Agency”) Clean Power Plan (“Rule”). A coalition including 24 states wasted little time filing suit against the much-anticipated final Rule after it was posted in the Federal Register on October 23. The coalition alleges that the Rule is an overreach of the authority delegated to the Agency by Congress and more specifically, Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act cannot be used to regulate greenhouse gases. The petitioners are asking the court to stay the Rule while the suit is pending and ultimately, invalidate it as ultra vires.
The big news out of Beijing today is that President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping have reached an agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions for both nations. The agreement is likely more significant in form than in substance.
The announcement includes the following targets:
- China has agreed to reach peak carbon emissions by 2030 (or sooner) and aims to have 20% of its power generated by non-fossil fuel sources by the same date.
- The U.S. has agreed to ratchet up its current emission target from 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 to 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025.