Court skeptical of challenge to Obama’s climate change plan

Two out of three judges on a federal appeals court panel expressed doubts Thursday about a legal challenge to the Obama administration’s far-reaching plan to address climate change.


The comments came during nearly two hours of argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in two cases challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to cut heat-trapping pollutants from the nation’s coal-fired power plants that is blamed for global warming.


Judges Thomas Griffith and Brett Kavanaugh seemed to agree with lawyers defending the EPA that the lawsuits are premature because the agency has not yet made the rule final.


The lawsuits — one from a coalition of 15 coal-reliant states and another brought by Ohio-based Murray Energy Corp., the nation’s largest privately held coal mining company — are part of a growing political attack from opponents who say the move will kill jobs, force coal companies to shut down plants and drive up electricity prices.


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