Despite all the sound and fury, this ruling will have zero effect on CO2 emissions. This lawsuit was a meaningless political stunt by a coal state attorney general, and the ruling is equally meaningless.
EPA regulations have not, to date, prevented the emission of one kilogram of CO2. The first key date in the "Clean Power" plan that the court struck down is 2030, by which point the plan required that emisions be cut by 32% compared to 2005. We're going to meet that target by 2025, and not because of the CPP or any other regulation. Coal is dying because natural gas, solar, and wind are all cheaper. Right now, solar is cheapest of all.
In 2022, we should be retiring 12.6 gigawatts of coal-fired electricity generation. We should be adding 21.5 gigawatts of solar and 7.6 gigawatts of wind. None of which has anything to do with the Clean Power Plan. None of which will suffer in any way because of the Supreme Court.
What really matters, in terms of reducing CO2 emissions from power plants, is that government continue to push for more solar and wind power. The Biden administration understands this and they are indeed pushing hard, especially for offshore wind. Secondarily, I think the government should continue to fund research in other technologies, such as geothermal and new kinds of nuclear.
Besides which, if you believe the projections from the leading climate scientists, the Clean Power Plan would not get us anywhere near the reductions we need to really impact the climate. After all, emissions from electricity generation are only about 32% of our total greenhouse gas emissions. If we are serious about reducing those emissions we need a radically different approach, which means new legislation.
If our goal is just to achieve the reductions called for in the Clean Power Plan, all we have to do is sit back and watch the economic incentives do their work. If we want something more, we need new legislation anyway.