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Schneiderman leads coalition on EPA's 'Advance Notice' concerning Clean Power Plan


New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, leading a coalition of 25 states, counties, and cities, filed comments opposing the Trump Environmental Protection Agency's Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ("Advance Notice") on a "potential" replacement to the Clean Power Plan.

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman released the following statement:

"The 'Advance Notice' is yet another example of the Trump Administration's reckless denial of climate change and failure to act against its increasing harm to our health, environment, and economy. As the Trump Administration continues to put polluters first, our country just experienced one of the hottest years on record, marked with record-breaking storms, floods, and wildfires. 

EPA already has all the information it needs to take immediate action to control power plant emissions of climate change pollution. As we make clear in our comments, this Advance Notice is the equivalent of responding to your house being on fire by asking your neighbors to brainstorm ways you can fireproof your house in the future.

The dire need, the science, and the law are clear. EPA must take serious, immediate action to cut climate change pollution from existing fossil fuel-powered power plants. If the Trump EPA abandons this crucial responsibility, we will see them in court."      

The coalition of states, counties, and cities submitting today's comments includes New York, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota (by and through its Minnesota Pollution Control Agency), New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, the District of Columbia, and the cities of Boulder (CO), Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, and South Miami (FL), and the county of Broward (FL).

The coalition's comments explain that EPA's proposed narrow view of its authority under the Clean Air Act as set forth in the Advance Notice is contrary to the law and common sense. The letter also cites a recent study that found that the replacement rule envisioned in the Advance Notice would not only result in fewer emission reductions than the Clean Power Plan, but could result in greater air pollution harms than having no rule at all.

Attorney General Schneiderman is leading a coalition of states and localities that have intervened to defend the Clean Power Plan against legal challenge. 

As a part of his defense of the Clean Power Plan, Attorney General Schneiderman has pledged to oppose the Trump Administration's proposed repeal of the rule, which EPA announced in October 2017. Along with the New York City Mayor's Office, he hosted a "People's Hearing" so that – when EPA refused his request to hold a hearing in New York – New Yorkers' voices could be heard on the proposal.     

In December 2017, the Trump Administration issued the Advance Notice on a potential replacement for the Clean Power Plan.

The Clean Power Plan is the culmination of more than a decade-long effort by New York and 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. Fifteen years ago, in February 2003, New York and several other states sent a notice of intent to sue EPA for failing to review, and as necessary, revise, emission standards for pollutants from fossil fuel-fired power plants under section 111 of the Clean Air Act. Eleven years ago, New York and other states sued EPA in the D.C. Circuit after the agency failed to establish emission standards for carbon dioxide from fossil-fueled power plants. That lawsuit resulted in a settlement, finalized in 2011, in which EPA committed to undertake rulemaking to address carbon dioxide from power plants.

In November 2015, a coalition of states, cities and counties, led by Attorney General Schneiderman, intervened in defense of the Clean Power Plan against legal challenge in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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