Rural leaders praise court decision on ‘clean power’ |

Rural leaders praise court decision on ‘clean power’

Rural leaders late Tuesday praised the Supreme Court’s decision to put the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan on hold while a lower court hears arguments about it, while environmentalists said it was a blow to the administration’s efforts.

“This is a result we thought could happen — at least in the short term — because these EPA rules would disproportionately hurt North Dakota and were written without taking into account the unique challenges utilities face in our state,” Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., said in a news release.

“Now that we have temporary relief, I’ll keep pushing for a permanent solution that will guarantee North Dakotans have affordable, reliable power while recognizing that we have to provide certainty through achievable emissions reductions on a reasonable timeline,” Heitkamp said.

“When affordable, reliable coal provides 80 percent of North Dakota’s electricity — and supports 13,000 jobs in our state — it’s irresponsible to put policies in place that don’t provide a viable path forward for coal, and don’t invest in clean coal technology,” she said.

“We are building support in Congress for research into clean coal technology as it’s a needed stepping stone for progress that will reinforce our energy grid, reduce emissions, and enable the U.S. to continue to use a reliable, redundant source of energy.”

Margie Alt, executive director of Environment America, said, “While this decision is a grave disappointment, it does not overturn the Clean Power Plan. Instead the ruling pauses the plan while a lower court considers briefs and arguments on an expedited schedule. The Supreme Court has already upheld the EPA’s authority to limit carbon pollution from power plants under the Clean Air Act, and the Clean Power Plan is widely expected to prevail in the courts.”

“The Clean Power Plan is the largest step the U.S. has ever taken to tackle global warming pollution, and is supported by nearly three-quarters of all Americans, including mayors, faith leaders, small businesses, and public health professionals,” Alt added.

–The Hagstrom Report

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