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Montanans React To The Clean Power Plan Ruling

U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision late this afternoon to put President Obama’s Clean Power Plan on hold is reverberating across Montana. That plan, written by the Environmental Protection Agency, called on Montana to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 47 percent by 2030, more than any other state.

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox.
Credit Courtesy MT DOJ
Montana Attorney General Tim Fox

Republican Attorney General Tim Fox joined Montana to a 28-state lawsuit against the Clean Power Plan shortly after it was issued in August.

“This is huge, it’s a signal that should this case go back up on the merits to the United States Supreme Court that there’s a possibility, and you never want to handicap these things in advance, that the clean power plan and the EPA regulations will be struck down,” Fox said today.

Democratic Governor Steve Bullock just issued the following statement:

"I have been clear that I think these rules were unfair to Montana. Given the court’s ruling today, I am putting the work of the Clean Power Plan Council on hold. What we cannot put on hold, however, is the need to address climate change and embrace Montana’s energy future, and I am committed to ensuring we do so on our own terms.”

Bullock appointed a 23-member Clean Power Plan Advisory Council in January. Environmentalists criticized it for being heavily weighted towards pro-coal and utility company interests.

Anne Hedges, Deputy Director of the Montana Environmental Information Centersaid:

“It’s a setback and a disappointment but the trajectory has already been established. We’ve been moving toward clean energy since 2005 and I don’t think this is going to change one way or another whether renewable resources are cheaper than fossil fuels.”

Today the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision puts the Clean Power Plan on hold until legal challenges are resolved.

The Associated Press reports that appellate arguments are set to begin June 2.

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