Carol Ostrow Dec. 8, 2015, 4:21pm


NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) – In the wake of multiple lawsuits challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman’s office led a 25-member-strong coalition to intercede in the EPA’s defense last week in New York.

On behalf of the plan, the group filed a motion to intervene in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The EPA’s program mandates that fossil-fueled power plants must slash their emissions output to comply with the Clean Air Act.

“Climate change represents an unprecedented threat to the environment, public health and our economy,” said Schneiderman. “We no longer can afford to respond to this threat with denials or obstruction.”

The Clean Power Plan was created after approximately a decade of study utilizing input from states and energy companies. New York and eight additional states formed the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, successfully cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 40 percent since 2005 and establishing a feasible model for the nation. Attorneys general from multiple states echoed Schneiderman’s lead.

“President Obama’s plan to limit harmful emissions from power plants is necessary to preserve our natural resources and protect public health. I will vigorously defend these rules…,” said California Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Massachusetts’ Attorney General Maura Healey concurred.

“We are proud today to join 17 states, the District of Columbia, and the cities of Boulder, Chicago, Philadelphia, South Miami and New York and Broward County in Florida … in support of EPA’s Clean Power Plan,” Healey said. “We understand how important it is to reduce global warming pollution. At the same time, we need to get this right.”

Schneiderman pronounced the plan as “a critical step forward in responding to the threat of climate change. The rule is firmly grounded in science and the law. The rule incorporates successful strategies New York and other states have used to cut climate change pollution from power plants while maintaining electricity reliability, holding the line on utility bills, and growing our economies. We are committed to aggressively defending the Clean Power Plan to ensure progress is made in confronting climate change.”

The motion is led by staff from the Attorney General’s Environmental Protection Bureau.

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