The Obama administration is moving ahead with a key part of its climate regulations despite the rules being placed on hold by the Supreme Court.
The Environmental Protection Agency issued a proposal Thursday detailing a Clean Energy Incentive Program meant to drive states' adoption of renewable energy to meet the demands of the agency's far-reaching Clean Power Plan, which is being challenged in federal appeals court by more than two dozen states and dozens of other groups.
"Today's proposal will help guide states and tribes that choose to participate in the program when the Clean Power Plan becomes effective," the EPA said in announcing the clean energy proposal.
EPA acting assistant administrator Janet McCabe said the agency has been working on the program for almost a year and Thursday's proposal "keeps that conversation moving forward."
"Taking these steps will help cut carbon pollution by encouraging investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency, which will help give our kids and grandkids a healthier and safer future," McCabe said.
The EPA wants states, industry and others to comment on the proposal so they can get the incentive program right once the Clean Power Plan goes into effect.
The Supreme Court has halted the plan until the merits of the case against it have been heard in appeals court in late September.
The EPA climate plan directs states to cut greenhouse gas emissions, which many scientists blame for driving climate change, by one-third by 2030. States and dozens of industry groups opposing the rule say it far surpasses EPA's authority to implement it and is illegal.
The EPA has said it is confident the plan will hold up under court review and it will triumph in the end.