After Election, States Rethink CPP Planning Efforts

Published December 2, 2016

Following Donald Trump’s election as the next President of the United States, a number of states that had begun planning state efforts to comply with President Obama’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) limiting carbon dioxide emissions from new and existing power plants, are putting their planning efforts on hold.

Along with industry groups and trade organizations, 27 states sued to block the CPP arguing it violates both the clean air act and the U.S. Constitution. In a highly unusual move, in February 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay on the CPP until its legal status is finally determined by the courts.

Rule in Limbo, Planning Continued

Some states suing to block the CPP, still began efforts to plan for and comply with the rule, in case the courts ultimately found the CPP legal. Since President-elect Trump has said he plans to withdraw or cancel the CPP, indicating he is unlikely to defend it in court as well, Environment & Energy News (EEN) is reporting, several states are reconsidering their planning efforts, since writing state plans to comply with the CPP is an expensive process, and will likely prove unnecessary.

For instance, EEN notes, Arizona’s Department of Environmental Quality postponed its quarterly December meeting, on the Thursday after the election, “in light of the uncertainty regarding the future of the Clean Power Plan created by the election results.”

Even states that have supported the CPP are considering how to proceed after Trump’s election.

Minnesota’s Pollution Control Agency, for example, postponed its November 15 planning meeting. Melissa Kuskie, the new supervisor of the Agency Rules Unit, told EEN, “We need a bit more time to plan the agenda to make most effective use of everyone’s time.”

H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D., ([email protected]) is the managing editor of Environment & Climate News.