For Immediate Release - December 29, 2016

AG Healey Joins Broad Coaltion of States and Localities Urging President-elect Trump to Support the Clean Power Plan

Clean Power Plan Places the First Nationwide Limits on Harmful Greenhouse Gas Pollution from Fossil-Fueled Plants

BOSTON – Looking to protect the nation’s limits on harmful climate emissions from fossil-fueled power plants, a coalition of 19 states and local governments sent a letter on Wednesday to President-elect Donald Trump urging that he continue the federal government’s defense of the Clean Power Plan, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.

“The Clean Power Plan is a pivotal step toward reducing harmful carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants and has been essential to our national effort to address climate change,” AG Healey said. “For many years, Massachusetts and other states have been leaders in advancing a clean energy agenda, and it is critical that the federal government continue to be a partner in that effort.”

President Barack Obama announced the Clean Power Plan in August 2015. After final regulations to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions from existing power plants were issued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a group of state and industry petitioners challenged the Clean Power Plan in federal court, which has yet to issue a decision. Under the Obama administration, the federal government has defended the Clean Power Plan against that legal challenge, along with state and local governments acting as intervenors. Today, AG Healey has asked the president-elect to do the same.

The letter also asks the president-elect to reject the “misguided advice” of a group of states led by West Virginia that the president-elect discard the Clean Power Plan by taking action to withdraw the court case, noting that this move would “assuredly lead to more litigation.”

As stated in the letter, the signing states and local governments are on the front lines of climate change as their residents and businesses are already experiencing harms from climate change, such as flooding from rising seas, increasingly severe storms, and prolonged droughts. The letter also states that the Clean Power Plan builds on cost-effective strategies implemented by states and local governments, along with the power industry, to cut greenhouse gas emissions while at the same time creating jobs and growing local and state economies.

For years, the AG’s Office has been a leader in pursuing federal regulation of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, including leading a coalition of states, in coordination with numerous environmental groups, in the landmark Supreme Court case of Massachusetts v. EPA.  

Joining AG Healey in today’s letter are the attorneys general of New York, California, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, the District of Columbia, along with local government officials in Boulder, Colo., New York City, Broward County, Fla. and South Miami, Fla.