The U.S. Supreme Court blocked a new federal regulation that would cut emissions from power plants, putting a hold on President Barack Obama’s most ambitious effort to combat climate change.
The justices heeded calls from utilities, coal miners and more than two dozen states to halt the Environmental Protection Agency rule while court challenges go forward. Foes say the agency is overstepping its authority and intruding on states’ rights.
Supreme Court intervention casts doubt on the legal prospects for the program, suggesting doubts among a majority of the nine justices.
The delay lasts at least until a federal appeals court in Washington rules on the plan, probably later this year after it hears arguments in June. If the utilities and states lose in that court, the delay would continue while they sought Supreme Court review. The EPA won’t able to enforce a Sept. 6 deadline for states to either submit their emission reduction plans or request a two-year extension.