A coalition of 22 statesincluding California and New York, six cities and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington this week in an attempt to block repeal and replace of the Clean Power Plan (CPP), an Obama-era policy that set emission-reduction targets, required states to restrict their use of coal-burning power plants and mandated a switch to renewable energy.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Gov. Gavin Newsom, and California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols announced the move Tuesday, marking the state's latest battle in court over climate change.
In June, the Trump administration finalized its Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule, which replaces the Clean Power Plan with one that weakens the emissions targets and protects the coal industry. EPA Administer Andrew Wheeler said at the time that the administration’s new plan was constructed to protect low and middle-income Americans from rising energy costs.
But California officials say the new rules will hurt both the climate and the economy.
“President Trump’s attempt to gut our nation’s Clean Power Plan is foolish — and it’s also unlawful,” Becerra said, arguing that Trump’s new plan is also bad for the emerging new energy market, expected to grow the economy. The CPP was also promised as a way to combat the rising costs of climate change, that would save the country up to $20 billion. “Because we’re prepared to confront the climate crisis head-on, we’re prepared to confront President Trump head-on in court.”