Release date: 12/11/2018
(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw its proposal to roll back protections that limit emissions of climate change pollution from power plants and cars. In a letter delivered to Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, Attorney General Stein argues that the increases in climate change pollution resulting from these rollbacks will worsen the impacts of climate change on the United States. The letter – which was signed by 20 states and 9 local governments – emphasizes that, in detailing the many, burgeoning harms of climate change, “the Assessment makes clear that we need to act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
“We should be working to prevent climate change, not to increase its damage,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “We could be investing in clean energy jobs and making our nation more secure from Middle East terrorism – but instead, we’re again delaying action. I urge the EPA to change course.”
Conservatively, based on the EPA’s own figures, the proposed rollback of the Clean Car Standards would increase emissions of climate change pollution by 540 million metric tons from model year 2022-2025 vehicles alone, and the Clean Power Plan’s planned rollback would cause emission increases of up to 55 million metric tons in 2030. Together, these increases in climate change pollution for those years alone would equal the estimated annual emissions of 127 million gasoline-powered cars or 147 coal-burning power plants.
In November, Attorney General Stein and a coalition of 26 states, counties, and cities urged the EPA to abandon its proposed replacement of the Clean Power Plan, the first nationwide limits on climate change pollution from existing fossil-fueled power plants – one of its largest sources. In extensive comments filed with EPA, the coalition charged that the proposed replacement rule is replete with factual inaccuracies, analytical errors, and legal flaws and, accordingly, concludes that the rule – if adopted – would be unlawful.In October, Attorney General Stein urged the EPA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to withdraw their proposal to roll back national Clean Car Standards. In comments submitted to EPA and NHTSA, he, along with a coalition of attorneys general and local governments, highlighted the consumer, climate, and public health benefits of the current standards.Attorney General Stein is joined in sending today’s letter by the Attorneys General of New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota (by and through its Minnesota Pollution Control Agency), New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia, the County Attorney of Broward (FL), and the City Attorneys/Corporation Counsels of Boulder (CO), Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Oakland (CA), Philadelphia, San Francisco, and South Miami.
Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484