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Supreme Court halts Obama's plan to limit carbon emissions

The US' top court has ruled to block enforcement of a plan to limit carbon emissions form power plants. The move effectively stalls Obama's strategy to combat climate change.

The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday to block the Clean Power Plan, the main component of the Obama Administration's proposal to limit climate change.

In a 5-4 vote, judges sided with a coalition of 27 mainly Republican-dominated states who have been highly critical of the plan, which would force power plants to curb carbon dioxide emissions.

The ruling comes as a surprise, as last month a federal appeals court decided not to put the plan on hold. According to the judges, the plan will be halted until a final decision on the legality of it is reached.

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US: Coal under threat

Fierce opposition

Among the states that led the anti-Clean Power Plan coalition were coal producer West Virginia and oil producer Texas. Along with several companies, the states launched a legal challenge to the plan in October.

More than a dozen other states have argued in favor of the plan, and the regulations which were issued last summer by the Environmental Protection Agency were a key component of Obama's efforts to reduce overal US greenhouse gas emissions.

The court will make the final decision on the plan's legality on June 2.

blc/bw (Reuters, AP, AFP)

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