Court of Appeals dismisses premature claim against EPA Clean Power Plan

Back in April  I posted about the lawsuit by the Carbon Monopoly and its Tea-Publican lickspitter servants in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, trying to preemptively stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s proposed Clean Power Plan rule before a final rule has even been published. Carbon Monopoly tries to preemptively stop the EPA’s Clean Power Plan rule.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia dismissed this premature claim. Court Gives Obama a Climate Change Win:

carbon-emissionsA federal court on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit by the nation’s largest coal companies and 14 coal-producing states that sought to block one of President Obama’s signature climate change policies.

The lawsuit, Murray Energy v. E.P.A., challenged the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule to reduce planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. If enacted, the rule could shutter hundreds of such plants, freeze construction of future plants and slow demand for coal production in the United States.

A federal court on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit by the nation’s largest coal companies and 14 coal-producing states that sought to block one of President Obama’s signature climate change policies.

Among the lawyers arguing on behalf of the coal companies was Laurence H. Tribe, a renowned Harvard scholar of constitutional law and Mr. Obama’s former law school mentor.

The E.P.A. put forth the power plants proposal last June, and after taking public comments and revising the plan, the agency is scheduled to reveal it in final form in August. The judges in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected the challenge, saying it was unprecedented for a court to review a rule that had been introduced only in the form of a draft.

All three circuit court judges agreed that the challenge was premature.

“Petitioners are champing at the bit to challenge E.P.A.’s anticipated rule restricting carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants,” Judge Brett Kavanaugh wrote in the opinion. “But E.P.A. has not yet issued a final rule. It has issued only a proposed rule. Petitioners nonetheless ask the court to jump into the fray now. They want us to do something that they candidly acknowledge we have never done before: review the legality of a proposed rule.”

He concluded, “We deny the petitions for review and the petition for a writ of prohibition because the complained-of agency action is not final.”

Liz Purchia, a spokeswoman for the agency, wrote in a statement, “E.P.A. is pleased that the court has denied the challenges to our proposed Clean Power Plan and confirmed our assessment that they are premature.”

Environmentalists also cheered the decision. “The first legal challenge to the Clean Power Plan failed today, and others the polluters will trot out should fail as well,” said David Doniger, the head of the climate and clean air program for the Natural Resources Defense Council, an advocacy group.

Don’t get too excited. The Carbon Monopoly and their Tea-Publican lickspitter servants are already preparing to file a new lawsuit once the final EPA rule does go into effect. Which is what they should have done in the first place instead of pissing away their clients’ money on a frivolous premature claim. Apparently they have money to burn (not clean energy).

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