Coal is stacked in a pile at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Gallatin Steam Plant Thursday, June 13, 2019, in Gallatin, Tenn.

Larry McCormack / The Tennessean

California Sues Trump Administration Over Coal Emissions Standards

Coalition Of 29 States And Cities Mount Lawsuit

KCBS Radio Afternoon News
August 13, 2019 - 2:53 pm

California is teaming up with a coalition of states and cities to sue the Trump administration over a plan to roll back Obama-era coal regulations.

Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Tuesday that his office is suing over the repeal of the Clean Power Plan, which set restrictions on pollution and emissions from power plants. President Trump has argued that the repeal is necessary to revive the shrinking coal industry.

“President Trump’s attempt to gut our nation’s Clean Power Plan is foolish. It’s also unlawful,” said Becerra.

The lawsuit alleges the administration violated the federal government’s responsibilities under the Clean Air Act, which has been in effect since the 1970s.

In place of the Clean Power Plan, the Trump administration announced the Affordable Clean Energy Rule (ACE), which places no cap on emissions and gives more latitude to states to determine efficiency standards. Becerra has criticized ACE as a “disgraceful fossil fuel protection plan [that] is nothing but a giveaway to the coal industry at our expense.”

“They’re in the short term business,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “They are absolutely neglecting the next generation. And shame on them.”

California was joined by 21 states and seven in filing the lawsuit.

“Here we are yet again in a position where we don’t want to be or need to be,” said Newsom. “That is, defending the values not only of this state, but I would argue the values that are broadly embraced across the United States. The country, the world is looking to us to lead.”

The lawsuit is the latest in a series of battles over whether the federal government should set legal standards and regulations on greenhouse gas emissions.

California has filed more than two dozen challenges to President Trump’s environmental policies and has prevailed in more than 15 of those lawsuits.