The White House and Environmental Protection Agency may have their plans for carbon dioxide emissions reduction hanging by a thread in court, but they're getting some big allies in their corner. Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft have submitted a joint legal brief supporting the EPA's Clean Power Plan following a challenge by 29 states. They argue that the emissions regulation is not only realistic, but makes good business sense. Prices for solar and wind power are coming down, and their energy is a hedge against both volatile fuel prices and outages -- you can store unused power to ride out a storm, for instance.
The companies add that the same things they've done to shift to clean power aren't going away under the Clean Power Plan. You can still build your own facilities or buy electricity from eco-friendly providers, they say.
It's relatively easy for these companies to lend their support, since they have the cash and motivations to switch to emissions-free energy. It's not so simple for states like West Virginia, where coal and other polluting energy sources still dominate. Even so, the brief could help remind the court that tougher emissions controls aren't necessarily bad for business.