When the Obama administration announced its much-anticipated Clean Power Plan in August, opposition emerged quickly. In fact, opponents had been fighting it before it was even made public knowledge.


Now that it is official, the plan—which cuts carbon pollution from existing power plants—faces many hurdles, political and otherwise. Legislators have vowed to fight it in Congress and have encouraged state officials to take up the cause. Needing little encouragement, more than a dozen states filed a formal request with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to delay the rule’s implementation. However, the EPA has no intentions of putting on the brakes.


The real challenge has emerged in the courts, where many of those states filed a lawsuit with the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. On the grounds that the challenge was premature, the courts already rejected a legal challenge earlier this summer before the plan had even been announced.


The states’ new lawsuit argues that the EPA is misinterpreting the scope of amendments made to the Clean Air Act (CAA) in 1990 and that the federal government has overstepped its authority in regulating the states. West Virginia and its attorney general, Patrick Morrisey, led the lawsuit. Other parties to the suit are Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming. 


The states constituting this coalition depend on coal and will be required to make drastic cutbacks in emissions.