States Sue Trump Administration Over New Coal Rules

James Marshall
August 14, 2019

"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".

New Jersey, along with at least 21 other states, challenged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's decision to eliminate the agency's Clean Power Plan and then give states more power to decide if coal-fired power plants should be forced to upgrade with new technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

California's power grid used more energy from non-greenhouse gas sources like wind and solar power in 2017 than from electricity generated by fossil fuels for the first time since the California Air Resources Board began keeping track. The petitioners argue that the EPA's Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, which it finalized in June, will not curb rising carbon emissions from power plants and will prolong the operation of dirtier coal plants.

The administration rolled out its Affordable Clean Energy, or ACE, rule earlier this summer, shifting regulatory authority to states while also promoting energy independence and offering hope to the struggling USA coal industry. And it fails our economy, which depends on clean energy now more than ever.

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 effort fulfilled Trump's campaign pledge to rip up the Clean Power Plan and dovetails with his administration's retreat from a global fight against climate change.

An EPA spokesman declined to comment on pending litigation, but said the agency worked diligently "to ensure we produced a solid rule that we believe will be upheld in the courts, unlike the previous administration's Clean Power Plan".

The ACE rule would allow states to set their own standards for existing coal-fired power plants, rather than follow a single federal standard.

That's why we are fighting back. A divided Supreme Court had blocked that rule from taking effect while challenges to its legality played out. "Rolling back rules to limit this type of pollution violates the federal Clean Air Act, and will result in negative consequences for Mainers' health, economic well-being, and way of life".

The Clean Power Plan rules were not expected to have a major impact on Maine's electricity generation sector because ME already participates in a multi-state compact, known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, that uses a cap-and-trade system to reduce power plants emissions.

They argue that ACE does not recognize efforts by States that have implemented emissions trading programs to slash greenhouse gas emissions, such as California and NY.

"The science is indisputable; our climate is changing".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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