WASHINGTON Jan 26 A group of U.S. states led by
coal producer West Virginia and oil producer Texas on Tuesday
asked the U.S. Supreme Court to put a hold on President Barack
Obama's plan to curb carbon dioxide emissions from power plants
to combat climate change.
The 26 states filed a stay application with U.S. Chief
Justice John Roberts after an appeals court in Washington
declined last week to block Obama's Clean Power Plan while
litigation over its lawfulness goes ahead.
"If this court does not enter a stay, the plan will continue
to unlawfully impose massive and irreparable harms upon the
sovereign states, as well as irreversible changes in the energy
markets," lawyers for the states said in the latest filing.
There is no immediate deadline by which Roberts must act on
the request. He is likely to ask the Obama administration to
file a response. He can then act on the application by himself
or circulate it among the eight other Supreme Court justices.
The states and several major business groups in October
launched legal challenges seeking to block the Obama
administration's proposal to curb carbon dioxide emissions from
power plants. Carbon dioxide is considered a so-called
greenhouse gas that contributes to global climate change.
The White House said the Clean Power Plan establishes the
first-ever national standards to limit carbon pollution from
power plants. The plan also mandates a shift to renewable energy
from coal-fired electricity.
More than a dozen other states and the National League of
Cities, which represents more than 19,000 U.S. cities, back the
Environmental Protection Agency's rule.
The rule aims to lower carbon emissions from the country's
power plants by 2030 to 32 percent below 2005 levels. It is the
main tool for the United States to meet the emissions reduction
target it pledged at U.N. climate talks in Paris in December.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
Circuit is due to hear oral arguments in the case on June 2.
(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)