States sue to block EPA's coal power plant emissions rollback

Federico Mansilla
Agosto 14, 2019

A group of US states and cities sued to block the Trump administration's "clean energy" plan, alleging it is an industry giveaway that will reverse progress in addressing climate change and prolong the nation's dependence on fossil fuels. "Because we're prepared to confront the climate crisis head-on, we're prepared to confront President Trump head on in court". In the suit, 22 states and seven municipalities seek a review of the policy by the appellate panel. The petitioners argue that the EPA's Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, which it finalized in June, will not curb rising carbon emissions from power plants and will prolong the operation of dirtier coal plants.

In a press release, James said, "Without significant course correction, we are careening towards a climate disaster". The decision to implement the "Dirty Power" rule will have long-lasting effects on public health. The Clean Power Plan set national limits on pollution from fossil-fuel power plants for the first time ever.

The rule would also stop the progress that Colorado and other states are making toward clean, renewable and affordable electricity generation, Attorney General Phil Weiser said.

"It's anything but clean, and it's anything but clean energy".

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, a Republican whose state is one of the biggest USA coal producers, said the lawsuit is doomed to fail because Democrats are misinterpreting the requirements of the Clean Air Act.

The EPA said it does not comment on pending litigation.

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The Environmental Protection Agency's plan to dismantle the 2015 Clean Power Plan reduces efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions and allows the agency to abandon its legal responsibility to regulate air pollutants.

The U.S. EPA and White House issued similar statements saying they expect the new version to survive the court challenge, unlike the Obama-era rules. But the agency added, "In regards to ACE, EPA worked diligently to ensure we produced a solid rule, that we believe will be upheld in the courts, unlike the previous Administration's Clean Power Plan".

In the Northeast, 10 states including NY formed the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative that has reduced power plant emissions by more than 50 percent. The Clean Power Plan was created to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 32% from 2005 levels by 2030. This, they argue, violates the federal Clean Air Act, which requires the EPA to require the use of the "best available control technology" possible.

The Clean Power Plan rules were not expected to have a major impact on Maine's electricity generation sector because ME already participates in a multi-state compact, known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, that uses a cap-and-trade system to reduce power plants emissions.

"The science is indisputable; our climate is changing".

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