- Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
Media Contact for AG Healey Pledges to Fight Trump Administration’s Repeal of the Clean Power Plan
Boston — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey today issued the following statement in response to the Trump Administration’s announcement that it will repeal the Clean Power Plan, which would limit carbon pollution from power plants.
“The Trump Administration’s decision to abandon the Clean Power Plan violates the law and, like President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, imperils the future of our planet. It is essential that the EPA address our country’s largest source of carbon pollution—existing fossil fuel-burning power plants—to mitigate climate change’s growing and costly harms to the health of our residents and our economy. Along with our partners, Massachusetts fought for years to put this rule in place, and we will be suing to protect the Clean Power Plan from the climate change deniers in this administration who are trying to move us backwards.”
On March 28, President Trump signed an order which the administration described as paving the way to eliminate the Clean Power Plan rule. Following the executive order, AG Healey joined a coalition of 23 states, cities and towns in pledging to aggressively oppose the order in court.
In December 2016, Massachusetts was part of a coalition of 19 states and local governments that sent a letter to then President-elect Trump urging him to continue the federal government’s defense of the Clean Power Plan.
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. In November 2015, a coalition of 25 states, cities and counties intervened in defense of the Clean Power Plan against the challenge in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Clean Power Plan is the culmination of a decade-long effort by 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. 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.
Massachusetts has already taken a leading role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by moving forward with its own programs, such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the Global Warming Solutions Act, energy efficiency programs, and standards to promote greater reliance on renewable energy.
For years, the Massachusetts 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.