By a vote of 5 to 4 late Tuesday, the United States Supreme Court issued a stay of implementation of the Clean Power Plan (CPP) until pending legal challenges to the CPP are resolved. The Court's order effectively puts on hold federal regulations designed to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants by 2030 until all appeals presently before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (DC Circuit) as well as any subsequent appeals to the Supreme Court are decided.
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito supported the stay. Dissenting from this decision were Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
Until the Supreme Court ultimately decides on the merits or refuses to become involved after the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rules, the EPA won't be able to enforce a September 6, 2016 deadline for states to submit proposed plans to the EPA for review. Per the CPP, these plans must demonstrate how the states will achieve emissions reduction targets under the CPP. Additional deadlines that the stay potentially places in jeopardy include the submission of final plans to the EPA in 2018, as well as the 2022 start date for implementation.
The Supreme Court's brief order was succinct. It did not elaborate on the Court's reasoning behind the granting of the stay. Factors considered by the Court included the likelihood that states and utilities opposing the CPP would ultimately succeed on the merits of their claims and whether denying the request for a stay would cause irreparable harm to states and utilities appealing the CPP while all legal challenges play out. According to the U.S. Solicitor General's brief on behalf of the EPA in opposition to the stay, the Supreme Court has never before granted a request to stay a regulation of general applicability without prior review by a federal appeals court.
With the stay in place, attention now shifts back to the DC Circuit, where there is an expedited schedule for briefing and oral argument on the CPP. Initial briefs are due April 15, 2016, and oral argument is set for June 2, 2016.
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On October 30, Alexander Judd will be moderating a panel, "Financing Renewable Energy Projects in New England," at the Future of Energy: What's the Deal?, the 20th Annual Connecticut Power and Energy Society (CPES) Conference and Exposition.
On October 16, Sophia Browning spoke on a breakout session, entitled “Drafting and Negotiating a Power Purchase Agreement,” at the 2019 Energy Bar Association Mid-Year Energy Forum in Washington, DC.
On October 7, Steven Cash spoke at "Cybersecurity: Tension Between Innovation and Security," an event presented by the Connecticut Power and Energy Society (CPES) and held at Yale University in New Haven, CT.
Day Pitney Alert
On September 11, Beth Barton will serve as the moderator at "Tapping into the Power of Offshore Wind - A Conversation with the Women Making it Happen," a joint meeting of the Connecticut Power and Energy Society (CPES) and New England Women in Energy and the Environment (NEWIEE).
Josh Cohen, chair of Day Pitney's Bankruptcy and Restructuring practice group was quoted extensively in an article, "FERC Rebuke Won't Be Last Word In PG&E Power Deals Fight," published by Law360.
David Doot, Steven Cash and James Blackburn, IV authored an article, "Risk and Opportunity with the Industrial Internet of Things," which was published in the July-August 2019 issue of The Journal of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence & Law.
Day Pitney Press Release
Partners Josh Cohen and Dave Doot were quoted in an analysis article, "PG&E's Ch. 11 Brings Rift With FERC Over Power Deals," published by Law360.
Day Pitney associate Alexander W. Judd has been elected to serve as Chair of the Energy, Public Utility and Communications Law Section of the Connecticut Bar Association (CBA).