Press Release

RFF Researchers Find Stay of Clean Power Plan Unjustified Based on Harm to Coal Sector

Jun 9, 2016

WASHINGTON—Researchers at Resources for the Future (RFF) responded today in the wake of the Senate hearing on the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon emissions from power plants—and the stay on those regulations imposed by the Supreme Court in February. In their new blog post, the authors say, based on their analysis, that “the stay appears unjustified” based on harm to the coal sector.

Yesterday, RFF published new research by the same authors: An Economic Assessment of the Supreme Court’s Stay of the Clean Power Plan and Implications for the Future. In the study, RFF Senior Fellows Joshua Linn and Dallas Burtraw and Research Assistant Kristen McCormack present findings that the Clean Power Plan would not impose any costs—much less large or irreversible costs—during the time frame of litigation.

Today, however, at a hearing before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, arguments were made again that the Clean Power Plan will dramatically transform the power sector, causing huge increases in electricity prices and large costs to electricity consumers.

According to Linn, Burtraw, and McCormack: “Our analysis suggests that, because of the trends and current compliance timeline, the Clean Power Plan will cause minimal increases in electricity prices for at least a decade.”

In the new blog post, Supreme Court’s Stay of Clean Power Plan Fails an Economic Test, the RFF research team states: “Using the stay to push back compliance deadlines (which would also be economically unjustified) could slow international momentum to curb greenhouse gas emissions and have a detrimental— and very real—effect on the global climate.”

They also note: “The claims of large, immediate, and irreparable costs to the coal sector during the ongoing judicial review of the Clean Power Plan are not supported by economic reasoning. To the extent that these claims played a prominent role in the Supreme Court’s decision to stay the rule, the stay appears unjustified.”

Resources for the Future does not take intitutional positions. Please attribute any findings to the authors or the research itself. For example, use "According to research from RFF …" rather than "According to RFF …".

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Resources for the Future (RFF) is an independent, nonpartisan organization based in Washington, DC, that conducts rigorous economic research and analysis to improve environmental and natural resource policy.