New York threatens to sue Trump over EPA climate rule repeal

New York threatens to sue Trump over EPA climate rule repeal
© Getty

New York state will sue the Trump administration if it carries out its proposal to repeal the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) climate change rule for power plants.

Eric Schneiderman (D), New York’s attorney general, led a coalition of 26 Democratic states, cities and counties late Thursday in filing formal comments objecting to EPA head Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittGovernment watchdog probing EPA’s handling of Hurricane Harvey response Wheeler won’t stop America’s addiction to fossil fuels Overnight Energy: Trump rolls back methane pollution rule | EPA watchdog to step down | China puts tariffs on US gas MORE’s plan to repeal the Clean Power Plan.

“The law and the science are clear. The Trump EPA’s efforts to dismantle this vital measure once again demonstrate that they’re more committed to pleasing the fossil fuel industry than protecting the health, safety, and wallets of New Yorkers and Americans,” Schneiderman said in a statement Friday.

ADVERTISEMENT

“As we’ve made clear, if the Trump EPA refuses to protect those they serve and abandons this unlawful and unsupported repeal of the Clean Power Plan, we’ll see them in court.”

New York and other Democratic states have sued the Trump administration over numerous policy changes.

They have had a number of successes in the energy and environmental policy space, with lawsuits seeking to stop rollbacks or delays of policies on methane emissions, energy efficiency, vehicle fuel efficiency and more.

In the coalition letter filed on Thursday — the deadline for public comments on the EPA’s proposal — the states, cities and counties argued that the EPA is obligated to aggressively regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, as it did in the Clean Power Plan.

“The statute requires EPA to set limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants, yet the agency is proposing to repeal the Clean Power Plan without replacing it with any alternative rule, much less a substitute that requires equivalent or greater pollution reductions,” they wrote.

In proposing the repeal in October, the EPA argued that the Obama administration exceeded its legal authority when it wrote the original rule. 

Pruitt is separately proposing to replace the Clean Power Plan with a more industry-friendly alternative focused on smaller emissions reductions that coal plants could make.