Supreme Court may ultimately clarify EPA’s authority under Clean Power Plan.
Ken Silverstein is Editor-at-Large for Public Utilities Fortnightly. Contact him at email@example.com.
The Obama administration may have prolonged the comment period for interest groups wishing to weigh in on the president's Clean Power Plan. But the administration will not delay the final rules expected next summer.
It's a cause for which President Obama and his Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are fighting on multiple fronts, including political and legal arenas. Politically, of course, the sides are split between heavy industry and green activists who have enlisted high tech and other progressive enterprises - each of which backs financially and otherwise key congressional members who have sway over the legislative process.
And if the recent past is an indication, it is the modern environmental movement that has the edge, having twice elected a president who ran on platforms of publicly financing green technologies and on reducing the level of harmful emissions regulated under the Clean Air Act, notably carbon dioxide. As such, pro-industry lawmakers have been outgunned and are unable to turn back the regulatory clock - one that has clamped down increasingly on coal-fired power.
Now, though, the strategy is to confront the environmental movement in the courts, a course that will be long and unknown. In any event, the legal entanglement will postpone any enactment of the proposal, which is an approach used by all partisans on any controversial matter.