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Clean Power Plan on Hold

The President’s Clean Power Plan put on hold by the Supreme Court is something many in Virginia have supported.  It directed states to craft their own plans to combat global warming under EPA guidelines. Some say, ‘plan or no plan,’ the move to cut greenhouse gas emissions already underway will continue regardless.

Virginia is one of several states, along with cities like Chicago and New York, which joined the filing defend the Clean Power Plan. While many were surprised by the ruling, others say it makes sense that controversial plan ended up in the Supreme Court.  It is designed to sharply cut emissions from power plants while increasing renewable energy production, it raises the still controversial issue of climate change, and it pits economic interests against each other that will now have to be hashed out by the legal process.  

That’s a result that Appalachian Power Spokesman, John Sheppelwich applauds. He adds AEP has already cut its carbon dioxide emissions 30 percent from 2005 levels and will continue to do so.  And that’s exactly why some Clean Power Plan supporters say, even though it’s plan on temporary hold, not much has changed.

“What hasn’t changed is that solar prices are plummeting.  Energy efficiency measures are very labor intensive and are great job creators, the rising sea level in Hampton Roads. None of that’s changed 

Frank Rambo is Senior Attorney for the southern environmental law center.

“You know that particular approach that the administration has put together has got to be set aside for now but the underlying fundamental forces that the clean power plan incorporates and is built on all that is still there.”

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe released a statement saying just that and that as the court case moves forward the commonwealth will continue its efforts to comply with the Clean Power Plan to -quote-- reduce carbon emissions and stimulate a clean energy economy. A U.S. Court of Appeals will hear the case again in June before it heads back to the Supreme Court.

Robbie Harris is based in Blacksburg, covering the New River Valley and southwestern Virginia.