US states and cities are suing Trump over climate protections

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

Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate change accord committing countries to mitigating global warming in his first year in office.

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 USA reliance on coal power and obstructs States that pursue cleaner electricity generation.

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 decision to implement the "Dirty Power" rule will have long-lasting effects on public health.

BREAKING: We filed a lawsuit against the Trump Admin's @EPA over its Affordable Clean Energy rule.

"Without significant course correction, we are careening towards a climate disaster", New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement announcing the lawsuit, adding that the coalition of States and cities "will fight back against this unlawful, do-nothing rule". And it fails our economy, which depends on clean energy now more than ever. "Because we're prepared to confront the climate crisis head-on, we're prepared to confront President Trump head-on in court".

"Protecting our land, air, and water is a top priority for the Attorney General's Office". Under the Trump administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed replacing the rules with regulations that would result in dramatically smaller reductions in emissions.

Like a proposal released last October, the EPA's final rule gives USA states wide latitude to design their own plans for paring carbon dioxide emissions at power plants.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has already started a legal effort to back Trump in the fight by seeking court permission to participate in a suit filed earlier by the American Lung Association.

This is just the latest in a string of lawsuits challenging President Obama's controversial Clean Power Plan as well as the Trump administration's attempts to undo one of his predecessor's signature policies on climate change.

In the Northeast, 10 states including NY formed the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative that has reduced power plant emissions by more than 50 percent. They also say the new policy runs afoul of Congress's intent for the EPA to address air pollution by artificially narrowing the agency's authority under the Clean Air Act.

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.

"Climate change is real", said William Tong, the attorney general of CT.