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US states ask Supreme Court to delay Obama’s Clean Power Plan

A group of US states opposing the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan have gone into court to delay the enforcement of the new regulations.

Led by West Virginia and Texas, 25 states have asked the Supreme Court to stop the greenhouse gas reduction rulings from taking effect until after the states’ legal challenge is resolved.

The call came after a Washington appeals court denied a similar request earlier in January in what some have called a significant victory to the acting government.

The Clean Power Plan aims to mitigate the most drastic expected effects of global climate change by forcing existing power plants to cut their CO2 emissions by 33% by 2030.

The plan also includes a provision for increased development of clean or alternative energy sources, such as biomass, biofuels, wind, and solar power through a further emissions limit on new coal plants.

The case is scheduled to be brought into the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in early June.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, representing the opposing states, said the proceedings could last possibly until 2017.

"Without Supreme Court intervention, West Virginia and other states will suffer irreparable harm as job creators and state agencies spend untold resources to comply with a rule that is likely to be struck down as illegal," he said.

Many of the states taking the matter to court are economically dependent on fossil fuels.

Implementation of the rules is considered essential to the US meeting emission reduction targets in the Paris climate agreement.

The Obama government and environmental groups also claim the Clean Power Plan will create new jobs in the renewable energy sector.