Release date: 8/13/2019
(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its Affordable Clean Energy (ACE), or Dirty Power, rule. Attorney General Stein is part of a coalition of 29 states and cities arguing that the Dirty Power rule, which replaced the Clean Power Plan, violates the Clean Air Act and promotes dirty, expensive coal power instead of clean energy.
“The Clean Power Plan is essential to addressing the climate change crisis and beneficial for our economy and health,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “The Trump administration’s replacement rule does nothing to address this crisis or protect us, and it violates the Clean Air Act in the process.The Dirty Power rule is exactly the wrong policy at exactly the wrong time. I’m committed to using my authority to uphold the law and protect our environment.”
In June, the Trump administration repealed the Clean Power Plan, the first nationwide emission limits on existing fossil fuel-burning power plants. The International Energy Agency estimates that the U.S. power sector needs to reduce pollution by 74 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 for the U.S. to achieve the goal of limiting worldwide temperature increase to less than 2 degrees Celsius. Its replacement, the Dirty Power rule, barely mentions climate change or recognizes the threat to people’s health, the economy, and the environment, and would only result in a one percent decrease in pollution. By the EPA’s own estimates, the Dirty Power rule would contribute to a projected overall pollution decrease of 35 percent – far short of the 74 percent target.
Furthermore, the coalition argues that the rule disregards requirements of the federal Clean Air Act. The Clean Air Act requires that limits on air pollutants, such as greenhouse gases, must be based on the emissions reductions achievable through the “best system of emission reduction.” However, the Dirty Power rule rules out shifting from coal-fueled generation to less carbon-intensive generation, which is the most cost-effective, proven, and successful approach to controlling greenhouse gas emissions. The rule also prohibits states from participating in cap-and-trade programs that would help them comply with the Clean Air Act.
Attorney General Stein is committed to combating the crisis of climate change. More on his work to protect the environment:
- Attorney General Josh Stein Criticizes Clean Power Plan Repeal
- Attorney General Josh Stein Defends the Clean Power Plan
- Attorney General Josh Stein Calls on EPA to Withdraw Plans to Weaken Emissions Standards for Coal Power Plants
- Attorney General Josh Stein Urges Trump EPA to Withdraw Plans to Gut Clean Power Plan and Clean Car Standards
- Attorney General Josh Stein Opposes Rollback of Protections from Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Attorney General Stein is joined in filing this lawsuit by the Attorneys General of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia, and the chief legal officers of Boulder, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, and South Miami.
A copy of the petition is available here and more information is available here.