WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday put on hold President Barack Obama’s sweeping plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants pending a legal challenge.
A coalition of 27 U.S. states is suing in a lower court to halt Obama’s Clean Power Plan, and petitioned the Supreme Court to suspend its implementation until the case is resolved.
Most of the states involved are run by Obama’s Republican adversaries.
Tuesday’s ruling, backed by five of the nine Supreme Court justices, deals a significant blow to Obama’s efforts to rein in manmade climate change.
The court’s four liberal voices contested the decision to halt the emission rules, which would require the power sector’s carbon dioxide emissions to be slashed by at least 32 percent compared to 2005 levels by the year 2030.
The far-reaching regulations issued last summer by the Environmental Protection Agency form a core of Obama’s efforts to reduce overall U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
But many U.S. conservatives deny that climate change is caused by human industry and agriculture, and have opposed emissions controls designed to slow global warming.