High-tech heavyweights support EPA Clean Power Plan

Four corporate giants of the high-tech economy filed papers with a federal appeals court on April 1 to voice their support for a federal carbon regime for the electric power sector.

High-tech companies including Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft are seeking to file a friend-of-the court brief supporting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Clean Power Plan (CPP) to reduce carbon dioxide.

The companies asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for permission to file an “amici curiae” brief supporting the rule to have states slash power sector carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions 32% by 2030.

The legal challenge to the carbon rule is scheduled to be argued at the appeals court on June 2. Most legal observers expect the CO2 case to eventually end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

 The tech companies said they are “some of the country’s most significant consumers of electricity,” they say in their filing.

The companies said that they are also “deeply committed to consuming power in an environmentally responsible way. They have committed to ensuring that an ever-increasing portion of their electricity consumption comes from renewable sources.

As a result, these companies have both a “vested interest in” and a unique perspective on the D.C. Circuit review of the EPA carbon pollution rule for existing stationary sources.

Under the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, an amicus brief is permitted where it is “desirable” and where “the matters asserted are relevant to the disposition of the case.”

“Tech Amici’s proposed brief also demonstrates the many ways that the Clean Power Plan is good for business and will reinforce current trends that are making renewable energy supplies more robust, more reliable, and more affordable. As just one example, the brief shows how the Clean Power Plan promotes the increased generation and consumption of electricity from sources not subject to fuel price volatility or future increases in electricity rates,” the tech companies said.

The CO2 case is State of West Virginia et al versus EPA et al: (No. 15-1363 and consolidated cases).

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.