NC, 21 other states sue Trump administration over new coal rules

Xcel Energy's Sherburne County Generating Station a coal-fired power plant near Becker MN

Xcel Energy's Sherburne County Generating Station a coal-fired power plant near Becker MN

"It will accelerate climate change at a time when we desperately need action to reverse it".

Twenty-two States, including NY and California, and seven cities on Tuesday sued to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency's replacement of the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, arguing it prolongs US reliance on coal power and obstructs States that pursue cleaner electricity generation.

"His fossil fuel protection plan fails everyone who stands for cleaner air", Becerra said in a statement.

"Rather than staying the course with policies aimed at fixing the problem and protecting people's health, safety, and the environment, the Trump administration repealed the Clean Power Plan and replaced it with this "Dirty Power" rule", said James. 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 Trump administration has been accused of ignoring or silencing scientific warnings on climate change, and critics contend the new rules will do little to reduce emissions.

In a statement, Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh said, "The EPA continues to prioritize the coal industry over clean, renewable energy".

"It's anything but clean, and it's anything but clean energy".

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, a Republican whose state is one of the biggest USA coal producers, said the lawsuit is doomed to fail because Democrats are misinterpreting the requirements of the Clean Air Act.

The Trump-led Environmental Protection Agency said the rule would not overstep the legal bounds that Republicans believe Obama's plan crossed.

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EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler in June unveiled the ACE, which set guidelines for States to develop performance standards for power plants to boost the amount of power produced relative to the amount of coal burned.

That's why we are fighting back.

"This administration has chose to repeal the Clean Power Plan and replace it with a toothless substitute", said California attorney-general Xavier Becerra at a news conference in Sacramento Tuesday.

Obama's Clean Power Plan had been prevented from going into effect by previous litigation.

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 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.

Tuesday's challenge argues that it violates the EPA's duty under the Obama-era Clean Air Act to address carbon pollution from power plants, and artificially narrows the EPA's authority.

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

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