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Apple files amicus brief supporting EPA's Clean Power Plan

Four of the biggest tech companies on the planet — Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon —  all officially pledged their support for the Environmental Protection Agency's embattled Clean Power Plan on Friday, calling for carbon emissions from power plants to be reduced.

Apple was joined by its competitors in filing an amicus brief on Friday in support of the Obama administration initiative, which finds itself in the midst of a legal wrangling.

In the filing, Apple noted that it generates enough renewable power to cover the use of electricity for 100 percent of its U.S. facilities and 93 percent of its worldwide facilities.

There's been an outcry of support for the EPA this week, including more than 200 current and former members of congress, a coalition of U.S. mayors and local governments, and a coalition of power companies. The plan remains on hold until a D.C. Circuit Court weighs in on a lawsuit over the case which was brought forward by 27 states, led by West Virginia, where more than 30,000 people are employed by the coal business and from where one-tenth of the nation's coal comes.

The EPA rule asserts the authority to regulate power plant emissions under the Clean Air Act, but the states fighting the plan believe the EPA overstepped its bounds.

The EPA filed its own argument in favor of the plan with the D.C. court this week. The agency is scheduled to argue its case in court on June 2, with a decision expected to arrive this fall.

Environmental advocacy group Greenpeace praised Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon after the amicus brief was filed in favor of the Clean Power Plan on Friday. They noted that the four companies operate data centers across twelve states, and have used a range of strategies to successfully deploy renewable energy.

"Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft have each committed to powering their operations with 100 percent renewable energy, and they know that achieving these corporate commitments will not be possible without state and federal policy solutions such as the Clean Power Plan that will drive new investment in renewable energy," said Gary Cook, senior energy campaigner for Greenpeace.