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Attorney General Josh Stein Fights Trump EPA’s “Unlawful” Proposed Replacement for Clean Power Plan

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(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today announced that he is urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to follow the law and keep the Clean Power Plan, the first nationwide limits on climate change pollution from existing fossil-fueled power plants. In extensive comments filed with EPA, Attorney General Stein and his colleagues across the nation point out that the proposed replacement is filled with factual inaccuracies, analytical errors, and legal flaws. If adopted it would be unlawful – moreover, it would do nothing to prevent the looming threat of climate change.

According to EPA’s own analysis, the replacement proposal would increase emissions of climate change pollution and other harmful pollutants from power plants. EPA estimates that up to 61 million more tons of carbon dioxide would be emitted from the power sector under the proposed rule in 2030, as compared to the Clean Power Plan. EPA further acknowledges that the proposed replacement rule, as compared to the Clean Power Plan, would cause power plants to emit up to 39,000 more tons of nitrogen oxides and 53,000 more tons of sulfur dioxide by 2030.

The Clean Power Plan is the culmination of a decade-long effort by partnering states and cities to require mandatory cuts in the emissions of climate change pollution from fossil fuel-burning power plants under the Clean Air Act. The Clean Power Plan, along with the companion rule applicable to new, modified, and reconstructed power plants, would control these emissions by setting limits on the amount of climate change pollution that power plants can emit. The Clean Power Plan would eliminate as much climate change pollution as is emitted by more than 160 million cars a year – or 70 percent of the nation’s passenger cars. These new comments were filed by the Attorneys General of New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota (by and through its Minnesota Pollution Control Agency), New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia, and the cities of Boulder (CO), Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, and South Miami (FL), and Broward County (FL).

In addition to filing the comments, Attorney General Stein released the following statement:

“We must not stick our heads in the sand. Climate change is happening and it will affect us all. We simply must reduce greenhouse gas emissions to ensure that our planet does not overheat and bring devastating consequences to our children and grandchildren. That is why I am fighting against the Administration’s efforts to eliminate protections against climate change. Today, along with a number of states and cities, I announced that I am defending the Clean Power Plan. I thank Gov. Cooper for his leadership in the fight against climate change – his recent executive order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in North Carolina by 40 percent before 2025 demonstrates our state’s commitment to doing our part. I have also urged the North Carolina Utilities Commission to make it easier for people to secure clean energy.”

Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484


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