coal" alt="Dave Edmisson , engineering manager, walks in front of two smoke stacks at the Comanche Power Station in 2011. The station had updated to a clean coal" border="0"/>
Dave Edmisson , engineering manager, walks in front of two smoke stacks at the Comanche Power Station in 2011. The station had updated to a clean coal operation in recent years. (AAron Ontiveroz, Denver Post file photo)
  • Feb 10:
  • High court puts Obama's climate change plan on hold
  • Feb 9:
  • House Democrats push forward goals for Colorado climate change plan
  • Dec 3:
  • Colorado high court denies Hickenlooper in Clean Power Plan split with AG
  • Nov 20:
  • Colorado AG responds to governor's challenge of Clean Power Plan suit
  • Oct 26:
  • Hickenlooper to challenge attorney general's Clean Power Plan lawsuit
  • Oct 23:
  • Colorado AG vows to fight Clean Power Plan as final rules are posted

Colorado health and environmental officials will continue working toward compliance with the controversial Clean Power Plan despite a Supreme Court decision Tuesday blocking the program's immediate implementation.

State leaders, with the support of the governor, say talks with stakeholders will be ongoing as part of efforts to meet the Environmental Protection Agency's carbon reduction targets for Colorado set forth by the initiative.

The nation's top court ruled in a 5-4 decision that the plan hailed by President Barack Obama as a major effort to tackle climate change should not go into effect until after a lawsuit to block the regulations is resolved.

The initiative has caused turmoil in Colorado's political realm after Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, launched a failed campaign to stop Attorney General Cynthia Coffman from joining the suit.

Coffman, a Republican, says the plan is an overreach by the EPA and that's why she joined the challenge filed by 27 mostly Republican states. She celebrated the Supreme Court's ruling as affirming those beliefs.


Nevertheless, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment says it will keep coordinating to follow the plan's rules.

"It is prudent for Colorado to move forward during the litigation to ensure that the state is not left at a disadvantage if the courts uphold all or part of the Clean Power Plan," the department said.

Kathy Green, a spokeswoman for Hickenlooper, said the governor agrees that Colorado should "stay the course" when it comes to moving forward with the program.

"While we're still reviewing the implications of the Supreme Court's decision, we remain committed to having the cleanest air in the nation," Hickenlooper said in a statement. "We'll continue to build upon the great strides we've made as a state."

The Clean Power Plan targets existing coal-burning power plants to cut carbon emissions nationwide by 32 percent before 2030 against 2005 levels. In Colorado, the plan calls for a 28 percent reduction in overall carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 against 2012 levels.

The EPA says the delay imposed by the Supreme Court could postpone those reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Jesse Paul: 303-954-1733, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or @JesseAPaul

The Associated Press contributed to this report.