States vow to defend Clean Power Plan rule

Source: Hannah Hess, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The attorneys general of 16 states and the District of Columbia today vowed to protect U.S. EPA’s regulations on carbon dioxide emissions from President Trump’s directive on energy.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) led the coalition, along with the attorneys general from Vermont, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Virginia, California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington.

“We strongly oppose President Trump’s executive order that seeks to dismantle the Clean Power Plan,” they said in a joint statement.

“Addressing our country’s largest source of carbon pollution — existing fossil fuel-burning power plants — is both required under the Clean Air Act and essential to mitigating climate change’s growing harm to our public health, environments, and economies,” they continued.

“We won’t hesitate to protect those we serve — including by aggressively opposing in court President Trump’s actions that ignore both the law and the critical importance of confronting the very real threat of climate change,” they added this afternoon.

Also joining the coalition today were the chief legal officers of the cities of Boulder, Colo.; Chicago; New York City; Philadelphia; and South Miami and Broward County in Florida.

Today marks one year since Schneiderman joined former Vice President Al Gore and a coalition of state attorneys general to announce a multistate effort to tackle climate change, including further investigations into whether fossil fuel companies lied to investors and the public about the impacts of global warming (Greenwire, March 29, 2016).

That effort also included the U.S. Virgin Islands and Minnesota.

A free-market group has been battling in court for communications related to the effort by state attorneys general to defend Obama-era climate regulations.

The Energy & Environment Legal Institute is in Vermont today arguing for the release of records that it alleges show the involvement of major Democratic Party donors and outside political activists in the campaign by state officials.

In November 2015, a coalition of 25 states, cities and counties led by Schneiderman intervened in defense of the Clean Power Plan against legal challenges in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Many of the same stakeholders wrote a letter to Trump prior to his inauguration urging him to continue to defend the plan in court (Greenwire, Jan. 3).