States blast coal plan, consider lawsuits

Associated Press


States with a history of fighting air pollution generated by coal-fired power plants on Tuesday criticized a move by President Donald Trump’s administration to scale back federal restrictions on emissions, with some threatening court challenges.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan was among those who pledged to “take legal action to ensure the federal government does its job” to protect the environment and people’s health. She warned the Republican administration’s move will have “disastrous consequences.” New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood also vowed to sue the Environmental Protection Agency if the plan is approved. Both are Democrats.

“If the Trump administration’s proposal to dismantle the Clean Power Plan is adopted, we will work with our state and local partners to file suit to block it – in order to protect New Yorkers, and all Americans, from the increasingly devastating impacts of climate change,” Underwood said.

Both attorneys general are part of a coalition that includes officials from 15 other states, the District of Columbia, four cities and one county who defend former President Barack Obama’s 2015 Clean Power Plan, which requires reductions in climate-changing emissions from fossil-fuel-burning plants. Two other states and the city of Los Angeles also joined in comments the coalition filed in April opposing the repeal of the Clean Power Plan. The Trump administration’s proposed plan would give states more discretion in regulating coal power plants.

“This is a declaration of war against America and all of humanity – it will not stand,” said Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Trump critic.

But some states welcomed the move on Tuesday.

West Virginia U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican, called the Clean Power Plan “a complete overreach” by the federal government that was “disastrous” for her state’s coal industry.

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