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United States

Obama's Clean Power Plan faces delay

UNITED STATES: In a significant setback for President Barack Obama's climate change agenda, the US Supreme Court has temporarily blocked his plan to regulate emissions from coal-fired power plants.

President Barack Obama unveiled the Clean Power Plan in August
President Barack Obama unveiled the Clean Power Plan in August

In a decision issued on 9 February, the court voted 5-4 to halt enforcement of the administration's Clean Power Plan (CPP) while a federal appeals court considers a challenge from 29 states and dozens of corporations and industry groups.

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), which sees the CPP as key to driving demand for wind energy once the $0.023/kWh production tax credit expires at the end of 2019, said the US wind sector is disappointed with the decision.

"We are confident that once the courts carefully consider the merits of these cases, the Clean Power Plan will stand," said AWEA chief executive Tom Kiernan.

"A stay, however is disappointing, because it may signal eventual delays in reducing both the carbon pollution that is causing climate change, and getting proven, clean, and affordable wind energy to more Americans," he added.

The Clean Power Plan was unveiled by Obama in August 2015. Each state was given a target to reduce climate emissions from power plants. The states are to create custom plans for reaching their goal, such as forming regional cap-and-trade programmes.

If all the plans are implemented, by 2030 renewables should account for 28% of electricity generating capacity, up from 22% in the previous proposal, and compared with 13% from 2014.

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