Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - November 15, 2018 


Lawyer Michael Avenatti arrested on a domestic violence charge. Also on the Thursday rundown: more testimony on the anti-protest bill; plus we will take you to the Dakotas to celebrate American Education Week.

Daily Newscasts

What's Next for Clean Power After Scalia’s Death?

Reducing emissions from burning coal is a focus of the Clean Power Plan. Some legal experts say the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court could lessen the chances the court will derail the plan. (Greg Stotelmyer)
Reducing emissions from burning coal is a focus of the Clean Power Plan. Some legal experts say the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court could lessen the chances the court will derail the plan. (Greg Stotelmyer)
February 17, 2016

FRANKFORT, Ky. - The sudden passing of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia could change the balance on the high court with regard to the Clean Power Plan.

Scalia voted with the majority in the 5-4 decision to stay the plan and its carbon-reduction goals. The vote was made along ideological lines, and some legal experts say Scalia's death improves the longer-term odds for the Clean Power Plan.

Even before Scalia's passing, said Julie Gorte, a senior vice president for sustainable investing at Pax World Management. the high court was unlikely to throw the plan out.

"It was the Supreme Court that actually affirmed that regulating greenhouse-gas emissions is covered by the Clean Air Act, which is already U.S. law," she said. "So, for the Supreme Court to really kill the Clean Power Plan would mean that they'd have to reverse an earlier Supreme Court ruling - which they rarely do."

The high court put a stay on the plan last week in response to a challenge by Kentucky and 26 other states. Gov. Matt Bevin called the decision "a victory" for the state's efforts to limit rising energy prices and save coal-industry jobs.

Gorte noted that American investment in clean energy was a record $330 million last year. Despite increased competition and sagging oil prices, she said, the prospects remain positive.

"It is still at a record high, and it is going well," she said. "I think investors really do understand the need to change our energy infrastructure. Whatever the Supreme Court does, coal is pretty much dead - I mean, nobody's building any new coal plants. There haven't been any built for years."

The Environmental Protection Agency estimated that the Clean Power Plan will produce $54 billion in health and climate benefits. Heather Zichal, a former deputy assistant for energy and climate for President Obama, said the prudent move is for states to move forward on reducing carbon emissions.

"As we have seen the growing body of scientific evidence showing that climate change is happening, the impacts are real in our communities and our states," she said. "It really does underscore that the time to act is now."

Greg Stotelmyer , Public News Service - KY