Wanted: Dead or Alive – EPA’s Clean Power Plan Context and Prognosis
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In August of 2015, to implement a key component of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) promulgated the Clean Power Plan (“CPP”), regulating greenhouse gas (“GHG”)1 emissions from existing fossil-fuel-fired power plants. Because the CPP had far-reaching implications for the energy sector and its various segments, its validity and merits have been the focus of contentious administrative, judicial, and political debate. With the ascendancy to the presidency of Donald Trump, the question is whether the CPP has any continued viability or whether it should be pronounced dead, and buried. This paper provides factual, legislative, regulatory, and judicial context for the CPP and then considers the ramifications for the CPP of this change in executive branch, offering a prognosis.