Supreme Court Blocks EPA's Clean Power Plan, Supports Peabody Energy's Position

On February 9, the U.S. Supreme Court granted Peabody Energy Corporation’s request to stop implementation of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan pending judicial review of its legality, and in particular, stayed the Plan's requirement to slash carbon emissions from existing power plants. Shook, Hardy & Bacon Partner Tristan Duncan is lead appellate counsel for Peabody Energy Corporation. Peabody Energy, the nation’s largest coal company, also retained Harvard Law School Professor and constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe to work with Duncan to challenge the constitutionality of the Power Plan.

In Murray Energy Corporation, Peabody Energy Corporation et al v. U.S. EPA, the Court voted 5-4 to grant an emergency stay. The stay prevents the EPA from implementing the carbon emissions rule until two things occur: the D.C. Circuit Court must issue a judgment on its legality; and the Supreme Court must weigh in further.

The Supreme Court agreed with the brief’s argument that energy companies have shown irreparable harm (including closures of power plants attributable to the Power Plan), and that energy companies have shown a reasonable probability of prevailing on the merits of their arguments.

Oral arguments in the D.C. Circuit are scheduled for June 2.