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Post date: October 23 2015

Statement By A.G. Schneiderman Defending EPA’s Clean Power Plan Against Legal Challenges

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued the following statement in response to challenges filed today to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s final Clean Power Plan:

“My office is prepared to join with our partners to aggressively defend EPA’s Clean Power Plan – rules that will significantly reduce climate change pollution nationally.  These rules give states the flexibility to choose the best measures to cut pollution, while maintaining electrical reliability and economic growth. These rules have a sound foundation in both science and the law, and build upon strategies New York and other states have used to successfully cut power plant emissions. And these rules are critical for protecting our public health, welfare, and environment today and into the future.”

The final Clean Power Plan was published today in the Federal Register.  In response to a lawsuit filed by West Virginia and other states seeking to stay the unpublished version of the rules in August, Attorney General Schneiderman, issued a joint statement with 15 Attorneys General and the City of New York that the coalition would oppose any challenge or attempt to stay the rules. This same coalition of states and cities, joined by others, anticipate intervening in the case next week.

EPA adopted the Clean Power Plan through a multi-year stakeholder process that drew heavily on successful strategies states have used in cutting power plant emissions while benefiting their economies.  For example, the nine-state Northeast Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) – of which New York is a partner – has successfully reduced regional carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity sector by 40 percent from 2005 levels.  The program’s first three years saw a reduction of total energy bills across the nine states by $1.3 billion and added $1.6 billion to the regional economy – creating an estimated 16,000 jobs in the process.