President Obama still believes the rule his administration put forward to regulate coal emissions from power plants has a chance for survival, despite the Supreme Court's unprecedented decision to halt its implementation until its legal challenges are settled.
Speaking at a Democratic fundraiser in California, Obama sought to reassure donors that his plan, which is pivotal to the climate agreement he and world leaders reached in Paris last year, still has legal footing despite the Court's "unusual" move.
The president on Thursday argued that the Court has previously ruled the Environmental Protection Agency is required to regulate carbon emissions under the Clean Air Act if it causes damage to public health, citing a decision from 2007. He said Thursday that "science" is on his side and he's confident that his administration's rule is on legally the right path. More than 25 states have challenged the administration's rules arguing they would be burdensome on the coal industry.
"In the last couple of days I've heard people say, 'The Supreme Court struck down the clean power plant rule. That's not true, so don’t despair people," Obama said, according to the White House pool report. "This a legal decision that says, 'Hold on until we review the legality.' We are very firm in terms of the legal footing here."
Obama said there will "be people constantly pushing back and making sure we keep clinging to old dirty fuels" but the country should take the lead in steering toward cleaner energy sources like wind and solar.
"We need to be investing in the future, not the past," Obama said."We should be investing in solar and wind and battery technology—all the things that promise us we can generate enormous power without destroying the planet for our kids and grandkids."