Does the U.S. Supreme Court Decision threaten U.S. Climate Goals?

By a 5-4 majority, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on February 9, 2016  that implementation of the Clean Power Plan rules must be delayed until all litigation against them has been decided. With a 29 states and industry groups all lining up to challenge the Plan, the delay will extend beyond the end of President Obama’s term of office, threatening his climate change legacy. The New York Times calls the decision “stunning” and “unprecedented”; Inside Climate News    says it is a, “surprising decision of staggering proportions, with repercussions that go far beyond the U.S. electrical grid, threatening the credibility of the Paris Agreement on climate change reached by the world’s nations in December.”   The Guardian reflects the more optimistic tone from the White House, that this is just “a bump in the road”. The Washington Post (Feb. 10) argues that the economic forces behind clean energy cannot be stopped in “Move to Cleaner Power is Proceeding Regardless of Supreme Court’s Ruling” . For commentary on the impact of the death of Justice Scalia, see “ The Supreme Courts Action threaten Vital Climate Policies” from Yale Environment 360, and “What does Justice Scalia’s Death mean for the Clean Power Plan?”  from Legal Planet (UCLA).

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