President Barack Obama’s power plant rules, the heart of his administration’s climate change strategy, is being questioned by a panel of conservative appeals court judges. The judges questioned on Tuesday whether the administration overstepped its authority with an air pollution law that will require sweeping changes in the electric industry.
A total of 27 states are challenging the EPA’s Clean Power Plan rules in front of 10 U.S. Court of Appeals Judges.
The states, which include coal-producer West Virginia, argue that the agency overstepped its authority by instating rules to reduce greenhouse gas emissions primarily from coal-fired plants. The Supreme Court has put these regulations on hold until the case is settled.
The EPA argues that the Supreme Court has already ruled in previous cases that the agency has the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.
Critics of the rules say climate change does not give the EPA license to use the Clean Air Act flexibly.
The Clean Power Plan was created to reduce carbon emissions from power plants in the U.S. by 32% between 2030. The plan is the U.S.’s main tool for meeting the emissions reduction target pledged at the Paris climate talks last year.