by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
President Obama’s centerpiece climate change regulations are expected to be published as soon as this week in the Federal Register, signaling the start of lawsuits and a Republican effort to scuttle the rules.
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Justice Department told a federal court that the power plant rules, called the Clean Power Plan, would take months to be published in the Federal Register after they were finalized Aug. 3.
Clean Power Plan critics say the Obama administration is purposefully delaying the publication of the rules to slow legal challenges and stall threats from the Republican leadership that plans to initiate a legislative campaign to squash the plan.
The rules put states on the hook to cut their greenhouse gas emissions one-third by 2030. The landmark rules are the linchpin in the climate change agenda of Obama, who wants to secure an international global warming deal with global leaders in Paris in December. Many scientists blame increased greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels for the rise in global warming.
Sixteen states are planning to file a lawsuit as soon as the rule is published, with business groups and possibly more states ready to join. The lawsuit will challenge the constitutionality of the rule, saying that the EPA is exceeding its authority.
Based on the timeline the EPA provided to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in August, the rule is slated to be published by the end of October, say lawyers tracking the rule.