The Environmental Protection Agency will publish Friday the long awaited Clean Power Plan, opening the climate rules up to legal challenges from the states.
Anticipating a wave of lawsuits including a group of 16 states that have organized to sue, EPA Assistant Administrator Janet McCabe released a statement Thursday reiterating the administration’s belief that the lawsuits have no legal basis and will not hold up in court, reports The Washington Examiner.
“The Clean Power Plan is based on a sound legal and technical foundation, and it was shaped by extensive input from states, industry, energy regulators, health and environmental groups and individual members of the public from across this country,” said McCabe. “As a result, the plan is fair, flexible, affordable and designed to reflect the fast-growing trends toward cleaner American energy.”
It’s taken nearly three months to publish the rules however, despite the plan being unveiled on August 3. According to The Hill, critics have accused the EPA of hiding behind procedure and trying to delay challenges to the rule, as lawsuits can only occur once the rule has been officially published.
McCabe denied the allegations Thursday, saying, “This is a routine, standard process that we do every time a rule is finalized,” adding that, “This actually moved along quite rapidly, considering the length of the rule and the fact that there were three packages.”
The Clean Power Plan seeks to reduce carbon emissions in the energy sector by 32 percent by 2030, and shift the industry towards renewable sources. The Hill reports that the full plan will appear Friday in the Federal Register.