In a historic move, the US Supreme Court stayed the EPA's Clean Power Plan, otherwise known as Obama's energy tax or stealth cap and trade. The court’s actions halt implementation until legal challenges (brought by 25 states) play out. That means there is no deadline to submit a state plan. In fact it would be foolish for a state to expend the resources to develop and submit a state plan without knowing if the regulation will survive.
But that hasn't stopped the Wolf administration from moving full steam ahead. According to the governor's spokesman, “Pennsylvania will continue planning and engagement with stakeholders on the Clean Power Plan, pending final decision of this issue by the Supreme Court.”
Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Quigley plans to complete work on Pennsylvania's plan and present it to the legislature by Memorial Day. That's before the Supreme Court will even hear oral arguments.
The EPA's plan to regulate coal out of the economy should be especially concerning to coal-heavy Pennsylvania. The regulations are estimated to increase electricity prices in the state by an average of 14 percent a year, according to the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.
The national cost of the EPA plan has been estimated to be between $29 billion and $39 billion annually — with virtually no effect on global temperatures.
The administration has defended its choice to move forward with planning as a way to give certainty to businesses, but the Supreme Court's actions make that point moot. The only thing certain is states will be waiting months and even years to know the fate of Obama's energy tax.