Attorney General Bob Ferguson, in coalition with 22 states and seven local governments, challenged the Environmental Protection Agency's decision to repeal and replace the Clean Power Plan with the "Affordable Clean Energy" rule, which would not require carbon emission reductions.
The states' petition for review was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and it argues that the repeal and replacement is a violation of the Clean Air Act.
The new rule would result in increased air pollution, which the EPA says will cause thousands more illnesses and deaths per year.
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"This rule is yet another example of the Trump Administration pandering to fossil fuel industry interests at the expense of human health and the environment," Ferguson said. "Trump's EPA repeatedly falls short of its duty to protect the environment, and it shows – Washington has won seven cases challenging the EPA's shortsighted decisions."
The EPA originally adopted the Clean Power Plan in 2015 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. The Trump administration replaced it with the Affordable Clean Energy plan, which requires states to set performance standards for coal power plants that do not require carbon emissions reductions.
EPA analysis has shown that the new rule will result in increased carbon dioxide in some states, including Washington, over the next 15 years.
"This rule is a sham that shows powerfully how this administration refuses to limit carbon pollution and to protect Americans from the harmful effects of climate change," Gov. Jay Inslee said. "I fully support the Attorney General's actions to challenge these damaging and unlawful actions in court."
Washington is joined in the New York-led lawsuit by state attorney generals from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia. Chief legal officers from Boulder, Colo., Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, and South Miami, Fla., are also included.
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