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Obama administration welcomes verdict on carbon pollution

The White House has expressed satisfaction with a federal court decision to reject a bid by over two dozen states to block the US administration’s carbon emissions plan.

In a victory for President Barack Obama’s administration, a US federal court on Thursday dismissed a push by 27 states to block its ‘Clean Power Plan’, the centerpiece of its strategy to combat climate change by reducing carbon emissions from power plants.

A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a brief order denying the application seeking to stay the rule while litigation continues.

“We are confident that the plan will reduce carbon pollution and deliver better air quality, improved public health, and jobs across the country,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement after the verdict.

The rule aims to lower carbon emissions from the country’s power plants to 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. It is the main tool for the United States to meet the emissions reduction target it pledged at UN climate talks in Paris, France, last month.

The states, led by West Virginia, and several major business groups in October launched the legal challenges seeking to block the Obama administration’s proposal to curb carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, according to Reuters.

The court action means the current regulation remains in place but it is not the final word in the legal fight. The appeals court still has to hear arguments on June 2 and decide whether the regulation is lawful.

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