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Supreme Court Puts Hold on EPA Clean Power Plan

The U.S. Supreme Court has granted Sunflower Electric Power Corporation’s and fellow petitioners' motion to stay the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan. Granted by a vote of 5-4, this stay halts implementation of the rule until litigation is concluded.

Wheatland Electric, along with Sunflower and the other five Member-Owners of Sunflower, welcomed the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 9.  Sunflower was one of 39 electric cooperatives that joined in petitioning the Court for the stay.

“The stay by the U.S. Supreme Court will help electric utilities and states avoid billions of dollars of costs that would be incurred to plan and implement an EPA rule that is facing serious legal challenges,” said Stuart Lowry, president and CEO of Sunflower. “Those dollars would have been wasted had the stay not been granted and the rule was overturned at a later date. Finality and certainty about the rules under which we will operate are essential to efficient and economic planning of the electric generation resources that provide such a vital service to homes and businesses.”

The Clean Power Plan sets carbon dioxide limits for each state to achieve an overall emissions reduction of 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. The rule’s compliance period was set to begin in 2022. It is aimed at fossil-fuel generation.

NRECA has estimated that total compliance costs for electric co-ops could reach as much as $28 billion.

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