Tag Archives: Antonin Scalia

Impacts of Justice Scalia’s death on the federal Clean Power Plan and Paris climate agreement

This article looks at possible impacts of the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on the federal Clean Power Plan (CPP) and the Paris climate change agreement. Scalia died on Saturday, February 13.

Last December in Paris, representatives of 195 countries, representing more than 95% of global greenhouse gas emissions, reached a landmark climate agreement that will, for the first time, commit nearly every country to lowering planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions to help stave off the most drastic effects of climate change. United States leadership was key to passage, with President Obama committing to significant cuts in carbon emissions.

From a policy perspective, the key to the US commitment was the Administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), which will require power plants to make significant reductions in emissions. The standards limit the amount of carbon pollution released for every power plant covered by the rule, and they are the same for every plant in every state. The cuts would have their biggest impact on coal power.

The viability of the Paris agreement was threatened last week when, in one of the final decisions in which Scalia participated, the Court voted 5-4 to temporarily block the CPP. Scalia voted with the majority.

To find out what this means for the CPP, particularly with regard to its implementation in Montana, click the link.

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