EPA Threatened With Lawsuits Over Repealing Obama’s Global Warming Rule

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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Environmental activists threatened to sue the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) if it repeals the centerpiece of the Obama administration’s plan to comply with the Paris climate accord.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) tweeted its intention to sue the EPA not long after Administrator Scott Pruitt announced he would formally propose repealing the Clean Power Plan (CPP) Tuesday.

“The courts are going to look at this very, very hard, and they are not going to buy this fictional view of the way the industry works,” NRDC attorney David Doniger told The Washington Post Friday.

“Nor are they going to let EPA cook the books on science and economics,” Doniger said.

NRDC has an interest in keeping the CPP from being torn down. The New York Times wrote an expose in 2014 on how NRDC experts, including Doniger, wrote the “blueprint” for what would become the CPP.

“Indisputable, however, is that the Natural Resources Defense Council was far ahead of the E.P.A. in drafting the architecture of the proposed regulation,” TheNYT reported.

NRDC has already sued the administration to keep them from repealing regulations, and other environmental organizations are likely to join such legal efforts. Democratic states’ attorneys general can also be expected to file suit.

Eighteen states’ attorneys general filed briefs in support of the CPP while it was being challenged in court, and were joined by some cities and a slew of liberal and environmental groups.

During his tenure as Oklahoma’s attorney general, Pruitt joined 26 other state attorneys general suing the Obama administration to overturn the CPP, which aimed to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay against the CPP in early 2016.

The CPP forced states to cut emissions from power plants and use more natural gas and renewable energy. The CPP was a key policy to meet the goals that President Barack Obama laid out to meet the Paris climate accord.

President Donald Trump intends to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris accord. Pruitt announced Monday that he would sign “a proposed rule to withdraw the so-called Clean Power Plan of the past administration.”

Draft EPA plans to repeal the CPP, obtained by the media, suggest the agency has no immediate plans to replace the power plant rule — though there are rumblings that they eventually could issue a narrower rule.

In the meantime, environmentalists will likely challenge the EPA in court every step of the way during the repeal process.

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