Doug Peterson

Nebraska Attorney General

Supreme Court Decision Reaffirms States’ Authority

Today, the Supreme Court struck down the Clean Power Plan rule adopted by the Obama administration. That rule would have required States to achieve carbon emission reductions for coal-fired power plants by forcing plant owners to subsidize renewable-energy sources or reduce their own energy production. The federal government had never before attempted anything like this. The costs of implementing that plan would have been enormous. It was thought that the plan would have imposed billions of dollars in costs on States and plant operators which would be passed along to consumers. 
 
The State of Nebraska joined a coalition of states led by West Virginia to challenge the Clean Power Plan before the Supreme Court. By invalidating the Clean Power Plan, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of those states.
 
“This case provides clarity about who has the power to decide some of the most important legal issues facing our country today,” said Attorney General Doug Peterson. “The Court’s decision makes clear that Congress and the States—not unelected federal bureaucrats—should decide how to manage our nation’s power grid. This is an important decision that reaffirms States’ authority to address vital legal issues for themselves.”
 
By adopting the Clean Power Plan, the EPA asserted a breathtaking amount of authority, claiming the power to unilaterally decarbonize the power sector and almost any other industry. The Supreme Court’s ruling establishes that the EPA does not have such sweeping power.