Environment

In the wake of Tuesday’s Supreme Court decision to temporarily halt the implementation of federal carbon dioxide regulations, the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet said it would also delay seeking public input on its compliance options.

The first deadline under the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan was supposed to be in September. That was the month states were required to either submit a plan to comply with the rules or declare their intention to follow a federal blanket plan.

Last month, Kentucky Energy Secretary Charles Snavely announced the cabinet would seek a two-year extension. The EPA requires states requesting an extension to gather public input on their compliance options, and Snavely said the cabinet would do that via listening sessions around the commonwealth.

Now, the rule has been stayed until legal challenges are resolved, which will likely push the plan’s timeline back.

“Conducting listening sessions at this time is premature because the [Clean Power Plan] could change substantially as a result of litigation, or it could be vacated altogether,” Snavely said in a written statement. “The CPP’s unprecedented requirements have placed states in an untenable position relative to electricity generation, threatening energy affordability and reliability.”

If the rule is ultimately vacated, the EPA whave to go back to the drawing board. An endangerment finding by the Supreme Court in 2007 means the agency is required to regulate carbon dioxide, but the process could be delayed for years.