More than a dozen state attorneys general filed an emergency petition for extraordinary writ to postpone various deadlines in the Clean Power Plan until litigation over the rule is finished. They also took the unusual move of asking that their petition be joined with three other CPP challenges that a D.C. Circuit panel rejected in June as being premature.

Peabody Energy Corp., a party to one of those cases, filed a similar action seeking the same remedy as that being sought by the states.

“What’s going on here is an attempt to manipulate the D.C. Circuit in a way that allows the petitioners to maintain what they regard as a favorable panel that they drew randomly in the original Murray energy and West Virginia trio of cases,” said Brendan Collins, a partner at Ballard Spahr.

These challenges are a means to possibly retain what the petitioners feel is a sympathetic panel at the D.C. Circuit for future litigation, as well as attempts to delay the implementation of President Barack Obama’s plan to cut carbon emissions from power plants.

Because it is unclear when the final rule will be published in the Federal Register—which signals when rule challengers may begin pursuit of their requests—the states argue they will be irreparably harmed without a stay as by late 2016 they must submit a final compliance plan or an initial plan with an extention request.

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