Attorney General Underwood Adds Findings Of National Climate Assessment To Rulemaking Record On Rollback Of Clean Car Standards And The Clean Power Plan

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 21, 2018

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ATTORNEY GENERAL UNDERWOOD ADDS FINDINGS OF NATIONAL CLIMATE ASSESSMENT TO RULEMAKING RECORD ON ROLLBACK OF CLEAN CAR STANDARDS AND THE CLEAN POWER PLAN

Coalition Adds Critical Information to Bolster Previously-Filed Comments that Rollback Would be Both Catastrophic and Unlawful

AG Underwood Leads Coalition Defending Clean Power Plan; Has Vowed to Sue if Trump Administration’s Proposed Replacement is Adopted

NEW YORK – Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood today, as part of a coalition of states and local governments, moved the “Fourth National Climate Assessment” into the rulemaking records for the Trump Administration’s proposed rollbacks of the Clean Car Standards and Clean Power Plan. The Assessment’s findings reinforce the coalition’s arguments for maintaining the standards to reduce emissions and mitigate the harmful effects of climate change. The Assessment – produced by more than 300 federal and nonfederal experts, including representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and 12 other federal agencies – warns that without immediate action, the effects of climate change will severely harm public health, the environment, the economy, and national security.

The Trump EPA continues to advance reckless plans to gut crucial controls on climate change pollution from its largest sources: power plants and cars,” Attorney General Underwood said. “Climate change is having an increasingly destructive and deadly impact on people, communities, and our economy – and these proposed rollbacks will severely threaten public health and our environment. The EPA must heed the warnings of experts and immediately withdraw its proposals to increase climate change pollution from cars and power plants.”

The coalition’s action supplements its previously-filed comments earlier this year in October. The coalition argued in its letters that it would be unlawful for the EPA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to move forward with their proposals to roll back emission reduction regulations for two of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions – vehicles and power plants – while ignoring the National Climate Assessment. The combined effects of rolling back the regulations would, in coming years, conservatively result in increased emissions equal to the annual emissions of 147 coal-fired power plants or an additional 127 million gasoline-powered cars on the road.

As described in the Assessment, halting emission standards would lead to catastrophic scenarios for every region of the nation, impacting public health, the environment, the economy, and national security. By pushing forward with its misguided and regressive proposals, the Trump Administration would not only accelerate these frightening scenarios, but would also be in direct violation of its lawful duties.

Today’s comments were led by Attorney General Underwood and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and signed by New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota (by and through its Minnesota Pollution Control Agency), North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, the District of Columbia, the County Attorney of Broward (FL), and the City Attorneys/Corporation Counsel of the cities of Boulder, Chicago, Oakland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, Philadelphia, New York, and South Miami.

In NovemberAttorney General Underwood led a coalition of 26 states, counties, and cities that urged the Trump EPA to abandon its proposed replacement of the Clean Power Plan, the first nationwide limits on climate change pollution from existing fossil-fueled power plants – one of its largest sources. In extensive comments filed with EPA, the coalition charged that the proposed replacement rule is replete with factual inaccuracies, analytical errors, and legal flaws and, accordingly, concludes that the rule – if adopted – would be unlawful. Attorney General Underwood has made clear that her office will sue if the Trump administration’s proposed replacement is adopted.