CHARLESTON – The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to halt enforcement of President Barack Obama’s sweeping plan to address climate change until all legal challenges are resolved.
The move is a heavy blow to the administration and a victory for the coalition of 27 states and industry opponents that call the regulations “an unprecedented power grab.”
West Virginia Coal Association President Bill Raney welcomed the news of the ruling and congratulated Attorney General Patrick Morrisey of West Virginia, who is leading the legal fight.
“Today’s decision will, we hope, give us some breathing room in our effort to protect West Virginia jobs,” Raney said. “Attorney General Morrisey and the other states opposed to these job-killing regulations can now argue the merits of the case without worrying that the damage will be done before they can make their arguments.
“We want to congratulate General Morrisey for all his hard work,” Raney continued. “No one has been a better, more effective friend to West Virginia’s coal miners and their families than our attorney general.”
Supreme Court experts told the media that by issuing the ruling, the justices signaled that Morrisey and other opponents made strong arguments against the rules.
Any decision will likely be appealed to the Supreme Court, meaning resolution of the legal fight is not likely to happen until after Obama leaves office.
Compliance with the new rules isn’t required until 2022, but states must submit their plans to the Environmental Protection Administration by September or seek an extension.