WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit vacated the Trump administration’s Affordable Clean Energy Rule on Tuesday. Dubbed the Dirty Power Plan, the regulation, which was finalized by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2019, aimed to repeal and replace the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan.
In its conclusion, the court found that the rule was based on a “mistaken reading of the Clean Air Act” and that the “the EPA fundamentally ‘has misconceived the law.’” The rule will now be sent back to the agency for reconsideration.
In April, Environment America filed an amicus brief in this case with the National Trust for Historic Preservation highlighting the potential impact of the Dirty Power Plan on America’s historic landmarks. Environment Maine is a part of Environment America.
Anya Fetcher, state director of Environment Maine, issued the following statement:
“The Dirty Power Plan was clearly a disastrous and misconceived regulation from the start, and the court’s decision confirms that assessment. As the Trump administration leaves office, we hope this ruling will be reflective of a much brighter future.
“It’s time for Maine’s environment and health to once again take center stage. Power plants are super polluters, and now the EPA can no longer give them a free pass. To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we’ve got to transition to clean energy as quickly as possible. This ruling is a major step in the right direction.
“We also appreciated the opportunity to make the court aware of the specific climate impacts global warming is having on historic coastal communities through our amicus brief with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. We cannot afford to lose such national treasures as Ellis Island and St. Augustine, Fla., not to mention the thousands of historic properties along Maine’s own coastal and waterfront communities facing sea level rise, such as South Portland’s Ferry Village. This decision will help mitigate those risks. That said, we fully intend to keep working to protect communities and our country’s heritage across the country from the existential threat of climate change.”