A ruling from the Washington DC circuit of the US Court of Appeals, on the day before Joe Biden is to be inaugurated as President, that Trump’s Affordable Clean Energy law was “legally flawed.” This law was a cornerstone of President Trump’s environmental deregulatory efforts.
The Affordable Clean Energy rule was replacing President Obama’s Clean Power Plan.
Biden has promised to pursue climate action during his administration, and the ruling of the Appeals Court allows him to proceed more quickly.
Kevin Minoli, a partner at the law firm Alston & Bird, who formerly was a legal counsel at the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), said: “The DC Circuit has provided the Biden Administration a clean slate upon which to craft new regulations related to emissions from power plants, but it also forces the administration to start over again at square one. Intervenors may seek further review, but they will face an uphill battle if they do not have government support.”
The shifts in the energy sector, with renewables growing and coal plants shutting because of economics, has enabled the US to cut emissions, even in the absence of federal requirements to do so. From 2005 to 2019, electricity generation increased by nearly 2 per cent, while electricity-related carbon dioxide emissions fell by 33 per cent. Non-carbon emitting generation increased by 35 per cent over this period.