Free Legal Insights White Paper

Environment and Sustainability: The Clean Power Plan

A comprehensive look at the Clean Power Plan’s legal requirements, current challenges, and potential minefields.

The 1,560-page Clean Power Plan is the most comprehensive air-pollution regulation in U.S. history.’s Environment and Sustainability: The Clean Power Plan guides states and other stakeholders seeking to challenge the Plan or to comply and meet its goals.

Major Legal Insights covered in this white paper:

  • Mitigating air pollution in the U.S. in the last century
  • Significantly reducing state-by-state greenhouse-gas emissions by the 2030 target
  • Assessing the many criticisms of the Clean Power Plan
  • Challenging the Clean Power Plan in court and through legislation
  • Complying with the Clean Power Plan at the state level

Table of Contents


  • Origins and Early Efforts
  • Creation of the EPA (1970)
  • Further Clean Air Act Revisions (1990)
  • Current Efforts


  • How the EPA Created the State Targets
  • State and Tribal Roles


  • Efficacy of the CPP
  • Economic Repercussions
  • Grid Reliability
  • The Future of Coal
  • Legal Disputes


  • Challenges to Date
  • Legal Arguments
  • Legislative Challenges

  • Matter of Timing
  • Filing the Plan…or Not
  • Acceptable Plan Types
  • Emission Measurement Methods
  • Standing Alone or Working Together
  • CPP-based Emission-reduction Strategies
  • Emission-reduction Strategies Outside the CPP’s Building Blocks
  • Emissions Trading
  • EPA Resources



  • Acronyms Used in this White Paper


  • Further Reading
  • Statutes, Regulations, and Case Law
  • Background and Analysis
  • Overview of CPP

About the Authors

Julie Clement, Senior Research Attorney, served as an attorney for the Michigan Court of Appeals, a law clerk with the Michigan Supreme Court, and supervising attorney in the Michigan Court of Appeals’ Research Division. Julie then became a professor in the Legal Writing Department of Western Michigan University Thomas Cooley Law School, earning tenure in 2014, as well as operating a legal consulting firm. Throughout her career, she has focused her pro bono work on community development, including municipal, environmental, and nonprofit law. Julie graduated cum laude from Thomas Cooley Law School, where she served on the school’s law review (Screening Editor) and Journal of Practical and Clinical Law (Senior Research Editor).

Stacey Supina, Managing Director – GRC, oversees’s corporate and compliance services for general counsel and compliance professionals. Her professional background includes corporate compliance, business-to-business contracting, and employment and environmental issues. In addition to her work at LRC, Stacey teaches at the University of St. Thomas School of Business. She received her J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School and her LL.M. from University College London, England, where her thesis concerned packaging waste regulation.

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