A coalition of 22 US states and seven cities on Tuesday sued President Donald Trump’s administration to block it from easing restrictions on coal-burning power plants.
Trump has set about systematically dismantling environmental regulations put in place by his predecessor Barack Obama, including the Clean Power Plan, which called for cuts to greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.
Finalized in 2015, it was put on hold by the Supreme Court and the White House has ordered the Environment Protection Agency to work on a less stringent replacement, known as the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule.
“This administration has decided 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.
“It’s anything but clean, and it’s anything but clean energy. President Trump’s attempt to gut our nation’s Clean Power Plan is just the wrong way to go,” he added.
The ACE rule would allow states to set their own standards for existing coal-fired power plants, rather than follow a single federal standard.
It foresees a far less ambitious overall reduction of power sector carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 than the regulation it would replace.
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 lawsuit, filed in the United States Court of Appeals in Washington, could end up at the Supreme Court.
California governor Gavin Newsom said the Trump administration was “in the short-term business.”
“They are absolutely neglecting the next generation and shame on them,” he said.
Trump pulled the US out of the Paris climate change accord committing countries to mitigating global warming in his first year in office.
He has ordered the Energy Department to pour millions into research to boost the performance of coal-fired power plants.
But the US energy mix is quickly shifting away from coal and toward natural gas, as a result of the fracking boom, and renewables.
Coal consumption has plummeted to its lowest level in 40 years, according to the Energy Department, and bankruptcies have abounded, closing dozens of mines, shrinking capacity and idling hundreds of workers.
US voters have rarely considered climate change a top-priority presidential election issue, but that is changing.
An April CNN poll labeled it as the single most important issue to Democratic primary voters, topping health care.
© 2019 AFP
Lindsey Graham spits fire over tax returns case: ‘You can’t have laws for everybody but Donald Trump’
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Sunday said that President Donald Trump should release his tax returns but defended the president's court battle to keep his financial information private.
Graham made the remarks during an interview on the CBS News program Face the Nation.
"This is the first impeachment trial being driven by partisan politicians," Graham complained, "conducted behind closed doors, the testimony was selectively leaked, the president was denied the ability to participate in the House hearing and I want to end it. I have nothing but disdain for this. I'm trying to make myself clear, what you're doing in the House is bad for the presidency."
Rick Santorum blasted by CNN’s Begala for blatant lie in effort to defend Trump
Former GOP Senator Rick Santorum ran into some major pushback on CNN on Sunday morning as he tried to dismiss the Donald Trump articles of impeachment headed to a full House vote by saying there was a stronger case against former President Bill Clinton.
Sitting on a "State of the Union" panel with host Jake Tapper, the conservative CNN contributor addressed the charges against the president by saying, "There are two issues. The one I have the most problem with is the second article."
"Obstruction of Congress," Tapper helpfully added.
"If you don't comply you could be impeached and every president will be impeached if they say we'll not give you what you asked for," Santorum claimed. "And I think that is reckless on the part of Democrats and would be stunned if more Democrats don't vote against that than the first one."
‘I’m sorry’: James Comey repeatedly apologizes after getting nailed to the wall by Chris Wallace
Fox News host Chris Wallace grilled former FBI Director James Comey over alleged mistakes at the agency during the investigations of President Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
In an interview that aired on Sunday, Wallace noted that the Department of Justice Inspector General concluded that errors in warrants for surveillance on the Trump campaign could have been mistakes or malfeasance.
"He's saying the role of the Steele dossier is a lot more important than you let on," Wallace said of the Inspector General.
"Okay, if I was [wrong] then I'm sorry that I did that," Comey admitted. "What I meant was that it was one part of the presentation to the [FISA] court. It was not a huge part of the presentation to the court. But it was the fact, according to his report, that it convinced the lawyers to go forward."