Countdown starts for power plant rule lawsuits

By Jean Chemnick | 05/08/2024 01:35 PM EDT

With the Biden administration’s signature climate regulation set for publication, opponents are gearing up to unleash legal attacks.

The Marshall Steam Station coal power plant near Mooresville, North Carolina.

The Marshall Steam Station coal power plant operates March 3 near Mooresville, North Carolina. The Biden administration unveiled a rule to cut down on power plant climate-forcing emissions in April. Chris Carlson/AP

The Biden administration’s landmark rules clamping down on carbon emissions from the power sector are set to be published in the Federal Register on Thursday, firing the starting gun for state and industry legal challenges.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan unveiled the standards for new gas and existing coal-fired power plants late last month at Howard University. But publication makes them official, and an advanced notice Wednesday morning shows that is set to happen.

Publication marks the start of a two-year period during which states must write and submit implementation plans for their existing coal fleets. EPA will regulate new gas plants directly.


It also opens a 60-day window during which legal challenges to the rule can be filed. Many are expected, including from some of the same Republican state attorneys general who spearheaded challenges to the Obama-era Clean Power Plan that resulted in a 2022 Supreme Court decision curtailing EPA’s regulatory options under the Clean Air Act.