California sues Trump administration over rollback of Obama clean energy rules

California led a 22-state coalition suing the Trump administration to block plans to roll back Obama era regulations aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

Aug. 14 (UPI) — A coalition of 22 states led by California sued the Trump administration on Tuesday over plans to roll back Obama-era clean energy initiatives.

The lawsuit seeks to overturn the Affordable Clean Energy rule, a series of regulations introduced by Environmental Protection Agency administrator Andrew Wheeler that cut back on plans by the Obama administration to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

During a press conference on Tuesday, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said the new rule violates the Clean Air Act, “attempts to artificially narrow” the EPA’s regulatory authority and disregards the government’s responsibility to use the best emissions reduction systems.

Upon announcing the rules in June, the EPA said the Obama regulations would have been too costly for low- and middle-income families.

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Wheeler also said the new plan would reduce emissions by 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom described the Trump rules as a “toothless substitute” for the Obama era regulations.

“This is about generations that we are fighting for,” said Newsom. “This is about our kids and our grandkids. This is about clean air. This is about clean water. This is about endangered species.”

Attorneys general from Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Washington D.C., joined California in the suit.

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