Justice Department lawyers are pushing back against states' opposition to President Obama's emissions cuts, arguing that the Paris climate change talks are a prime reason federal judges should not stop the rules from taking effect.
More than two dozen states are suing the Environmental Protection Agency over its far-reaching Clean Power Plan for curbing carbon dioxide from power plants. The states argue that the rules are not power plant rules, but instead place states on the hook to reduce emissions a third by 2030.
Many scientists blame greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide and methane, for causing the Earth's climate to warm. The Obama administration has made the rules the centerpiece of its commitments to reducing emissions 26-28 percent over the next decade under a United Nations global climate change deal expected to be reached this month.
The Justice Department and EPA lawyers argue that the court should refrain from staying the regulations because that would undermine the U.S.'s leadership in the talks.