Energy & Environment

State AGs: Obama’s Paris climate pledge won’t stand

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A pair of Republican state attorneys general is asking the Obama administration to tell world leaders that its international climate pledge is probably not legal.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who are suing to stop President Obama’s central climate change regulation, want world leaders at next week’s climate conference in Paris to know that they think the United States’s pledge is hogwash.

{mosads}“We believe you have a duty to acknowledge to negotiating nations at Paris 2015 that the centerpiece of the president’s domestic CO2 reduction program is being challenged by a majority of states and will likely be struck down,” Morrisey and Paxton wrote in a Tuesday letter to Secretary of State John Kerry.

The carbon dioxide limits for power plants, the attorneys wrote, “has been under withering scrutiny from both Republicans and Democrats since it was proposed, and the chorus calling for its overturning grows by the day.”

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rule mandates a 32 percent reduction in the power sector’s carbon output by 2030. It’s the main piece of Obama’s contribution to the Paris pact, a 26 percent to 28 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.

Morrisey and Paxton are leading a 27-state challenge to the rule, and they say it would be irresponsible of the Obama administration to talk about the pledge without saying that it is likely to be overturned.

The pair is also challenging Obama’s right to negotiation a Paris agreement and impose it, since no current law or treaty allows an international pact that mandates carbon dioxide reductions domestically.

In addition to Kerry and Obama, the attorneys are sending copies of the letter to congressional leaders and the top diplomats of France, China, Germany, India, Russia, the United Kingdom, Belgium and the United Nations.  

Tags Climate change Ken Paxton Paris climate talks Patrick Morrisey

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