ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN CONDEMNS EXECUTIVE ORDER SEEKING TO ELIMINATE CLEAN POWER PLAN
Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today joined a coalition of 23 states, cities and counties across the country condemning today's Executive Order on the environment that will pave the way to eliminating the Clean Power Plan.
The executive action directs the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator to conduct a review of the Clean Power Plan and directs the Department of Justice to request a stay of the D.C. Circuit case challenging the Clean Power Plan.
Madigan, the other attorneys general, cities and counties issued the following statement:
"We strongly oppose President Trump's executive order that seeks to dismantle the Clean Power Plan.
Addressing our country's largest source of carbon pollution – existing fossil fuel-burning power plants – is both required under the Clean Air Act and essential to mitigating climate change's growing harm to our public health, environments, and economies.
We won't hesitate to protect those we serve – including by aggressively opposing in court President Trump's actions that ignore both the law and the critical importance of confronting the very real threat of climate change."
The Clean Power Plan is the culmination of a decade-long effort by partnering states, cities and the federal government 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, will control these emissions by setting limits on the amount of climate change pollution that power plants can emit. The rule for existing plants is expected to 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.
The U.S. EPA adopted the Clean Power Plan through a multi-year stakeholder process that drew heavily on the experience of states and utilities in reducing power plant greenhouse gas emissions. A number of states have already taken a leading role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by moving forward with their own programs. These states recognize, however, that on an issue that is already costing taxpayers billions of dollars in storm response and other costs, state action alone will not be enough and strong federal actions like the Clean Power Plan are needed.
Madigan has long supported the Clean Power Plan and the legal actions that led to it. Most recently, she joined a broad coalition of states and localities to call on President-Elect Trump to continue the federal government's defense of the Clean Power Plan, urging him to reject "misguided advice" to discard the Clean Power Plan.
In November 2015, Madigan joined a coalition of 25 states, cities and counties to intervene in defense of the Clean Power Plan against a legal challenge in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The court heard oral argument for a full day in late September, and a decision is expected soon.
In 2003, Madigan originally joined with several other attorneys general to support the authority of the federal government to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. Madigan and the other attorneys general were successful in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Massachusetts v. EPA, where the court held that greenhouse gases are indeed "pollutants" under the Clean Air Act. That historic decision set in motion the actions that the U.S. EPA has taken to incorporate carbon pollution and other greenhouse gas emissions into our regulatory system.
Joining Madigan in issuing today's statement were attorneys general from: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia, as well as the chief legal officers of the cities of Boulder (CO), Chicago (IL), New York (NY), Philadelphia (PA), South Miami (FL), and Broward County (FL).