On February 9, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court granted several requests to stay EPA’s Clean Power Plan while legal challenges to the rule are pending. In granting the stay, the Court had to weigh four factors, including the likelihood of success on the merits and irreparable harm. The stay indicates that the Court viewed at least these two factors in favor of the petitioners.
The full challenge to the Clean Power Plan will first be heard in the D.C. Circuit. Briefing will be completed by April 15, 2016, and oral argument is scheduled for June 2, 2016. The D.C. Circuit will then issue its decision on whether the rule should be upheld on the merits. The stay will remain in place until the Supreme Court denies any certiorari petition or accepts certiorari and enters a judgment following briefing. That is unlikely to occur before late 2017 or early 2018.
As finalized by EPA, the Clean Power Plan requires states to submit initial plans by September 2016 with final plans due in 2018. As the result of the stay, the rule’s deadlines and requirements do not currently apply.
Copies of the Supreme Court’s orders granting the stay petitions are below.