Supreme Court ruling is positive for coal

On June 30, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan, a regulatory program finalized in 2015, was unconstitutional. The Clean Power Plan would have required coal-based power plants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing coal generation and shifting that generation to other types of electric generation that produce less emissions, such as renewables like wind and solar.

The Court determined that because the legislative branch had not expressly granted the agency the authority to regulate in this manner, the Clean Power Plan was an unconstitutional expansion of the authority granted to the EPA under the Clean Air Act.

“Basin Electric supports the Court’s ruling in West Virginia v. EPA,” said Anine Merkens, Basin Electric senior staff counsel. “The cooperative continues to operate its coal-based units in a reliable, environmentally compliant, and cost-effective way for its members and the communities it serves.”

The EPA retains the power granted to the agency enforce the Clean Air Act and regulate air emissions from coal-fired power plants directly from within the generating complex.