Dem AG vows to sue over Clean Power Plan repeal
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) said Monday he will sue the Trump administration over its decision to repeal the Clean Power Plan climate regulation.
“By seeking to repeal the Clean Power Plan — especially without any credible commitment to replacing it — the Trump administration’s campaign of climate change denial continues, once again putting industry special interests ahead of New Yorkers’ and all Americans’ safety, health, and the environment,” Schneiderman said in a statement.
“The Trump administration’s persistent and indefensible denial of climate change — and their continued assault on actions essential to stemming its increasing devastation — is reprehensible, and I will use every available legal tool to fight their dangerous agenda,” he said.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt said Monday that he will sign paperwork this week aiming to end the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era rule designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector.
The agency will seek public comments on its decision to end the rule, arguing the Obama administration overstepped its legal authority when it issued the 2015 regulation.
“It’s Congress that passes legislation that gives us direction, that gives us our orders as far as how we administer the statute,” Pruitt said Monday. “The last administration simply made it up.”
The rule is the centerpiece of the Obama administration’s climate change work. A coalition of states, led by Schneiderman and others, defended the rule against GOP and industry lawsuits, though the Supreme Court stayed implementation of the rule in 2016 and the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has not decided the rule’s validity.
Other attorneys general and environmentalists have indicated they’re prepared to challenge the EPA’s decision to rescind the rule.
Earthjustice, which is part of the legal team defending the rule, said Monday that, “as the Trump administration tries to derail progress on climate change, we will hold them accountable in court,” and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said he will “do everything in my power to defend the Clean Power Plan.”