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

Xcel Energy's Sherburne County Generating Station a coal-fired power plant near Becker MN

Xcel Energy's Sherburne County Generating Station a coal-fired power plant near Becker MN

"Beyond the impacts that climate change itself has on Maine's natural resources and economy, we also know that emissions - from these plants - including plants outside of ME - pollute our air and water".

Twenty-two States, including NY and California, and seven cities on Tuesday sued to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency's replacement of the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, arguing it prolongs USA reliance on coal power and obstructs States that pursue cleaner electricity generation.

"Fossil-fueled power plants are major sources of climate change pollution", Frey said in a statement. Rather than staying the course with policies aimed at fixing the problem and protecting people's health, safety, and the environment, the Trump Administration repealed the Clean Power Plan and replaced it with this "Dirty Power" rule.

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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".

He called the lawsuit a "big government "power grab" and argued that the Democratic attorneys general "are dead wrong" in their interpretation of the Clean Air Act.

The EPA said it does not comment on pending litigation.

Shortly before Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, signed the ACE rule in June, the administration attempted to bolster the case for its plan by, as Common Dreams reported, "effectively rescinding the EPA's own estimate that it could lead to 1,400 premature deaths per year".

This is just the latest in a string of lawsuits challenging President Obama's controversial Clean Power Plan as well as the Trump administration's attempts to undo one of his predecessor's signature policies on climate change.

Like a proposal released last October, the EPA's final rule gives US states wide latitude to design their own plans for paring carbon dioxide emissions at power plants. The U.S. Supreme Court put off the initiative in February 2016, amid legal challenges from opponents who said the EPA had overstepped its authority. The Clean Power Plan was created to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 32% from 2005 levels by 2030.

The lawsuit, filed in the Washington, DC, Court of Appeals, claims the EPA had no legal standing to weaken the regulation and that the Trump administration replacement for it ignores an EPA mandate to set limits on greenhouse gases. 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 science is indisputable; our climate is changing".

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