The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit today upheld a New York state clean energy policy, reaffirming states’ right to create policies to protect their people and their environments from unhealthy pollution.
“For the third time in a row, our Circuit Courts have said that states have the fundamental authority to create strong clean energy and environmental policies,” said EDF Senior Attorney Michael Panfil. “This is a clear sign that states have the right to address the threats posed by climate change and air pollution in the ways that are best for them.”
EDF and NRDC filed an amicus, or “friend of the court,” brief supporting New York’s right to establish its own clean energy policies.
New York state created zero-emission credits (ZEC’s) for qualifying nuclear power plants with the aim, as stated by the court, “to prevent nuclear generators that do not emit carbon dioxide from retiring until renewable sources of energy can pick up the slack.” The ZEC program ties the credit to the social cost of carbon, structured to reduce unhealthy, climate-changing pollution through a larger energy reform plan to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030.
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