Democratic attorneys general from 15 states are kick-starting a legal fight against President Donald Trump’s decision to roll back the Obama administration’s signature climate rule.
New York AG Eric Schneiderman, a Democrat, is leading a large coalition of top law officers to take the president to court over his move to repeal the Clean Power Plan (CPP). The states’ top legal officers want to fight the CPP hold and any new regulations the Trump administration might put in place nixing the plan.
“We anticipate being significantly involved because President Trump has made clear his intention to roll back the Clean Power Plan and to increase the carbon footprint here in America,” Connecticut AG George Jepsen told reporters.
Trump’s decision to pull back former President Barack Obama’s primary climate rule also has economic ramifications, he added. Jepsen, a Democrat, also said the AGs are the “mainstream” on this issue.
Nine of the AGs have sued the Department of Energy over its delay of six energy efficiency rules covering household and industry appliances. Some of the AGs leading the charge have storied histories as environmental crusaders.
Schneiderman, for one, has made a living targeting the fossil fuel industry for supposedly destroying the environment. He spearheaded a year-long investigation against Exxon Mobil for allegedly hiding information about global warming form the public and investors.
Analysts are not convinced the AGs can move the dial on the issue, because of their consistent environmental positions.
Peter Glaser, an environmental attorney at Troutman Sanders, for instance, said the court is unlikely to be swayed, because “these states” arguments are virtually “identical to the environmentalists.”
“I think the fact that it’s coming from states might add something additional optically … but in the end, it’s similar arguments, and courts will make up their minds based on how they see the facts and the law,” he added.
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