On Tuesday a federal appeals court struck down the "Affordable Clean Energy" rule, a Trump administration regulation that gave states more flexibility in deciding how and when to implement technology to cut down on pollution from coal-fired power plants.
"Tuesday’s ruling gives President-elect Joe Biden's incoming administration an opportunity to carry out its own rulemaking without having to undo the Trump administration’s rule," Rachel Frazin reports for The Hill. "The court additionally vacated amendments that extended the timeline under which companies had to come into compliance with the rule."
The ACE role rolled back President Obama's Clean Power Plan, which never took effect because it was stayed by a 2016 court decision, Frazin reports. Environmentalists criticized the ACE rule when it was issued in 2019; they noted that it didn't set emissions caps and said it would make climate change worse.
Andrew Wheeler, Trump's Environmental Protection Agency administrator, said ACE was necessary because the Clean Power Plan didn't adhere to the Clean Air Act, Frazin reports. However, the court ruled that ACE was improperly issued, because it was based on a mistaken reading of the Clean Air Act.