Colorado among states suing Trump administration over new coal rules

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Colorado is among a coalition of 22 Democratic-led states that has sued the Trump administration over its decision to ease restrictions on coal-fired power plants.

In June, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency eliminated the agency’s Clean Power Plan and replaced it with a new rule that gives states more leeway in deciding upgrades for coal-fired power plants.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, says the new rule violates the federal Clean Air Act because it does not meaningfully replace power plants’ greenhouse gas emissions.

“We know what our energy future must look like, and we won’t get there by following President Trump’s misguided proposal,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said. “Because we’re prepared to confront the climate crisis head-on, we’re prepared to confront President Trump head on in court.”

The lawsuit was filed by attorneys general in Colorado, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.

They were joined by six local governments: Boulder, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia and South Miami, Fla.

The Dave Johnson coal-fired power ...
J. David Ake, The Associated Press

FILE – In this July 27, 2018, file photo, the Dave Johnson coal-fired power plant is silhouetted against the morning sun in Glenrock, Wyo. The Trump administration is close to completing one of the biggest of its dozens of rollbacks of environmental rules, replacing a landmark effort to wean the nation’s electrical grid off coal-fired power plants and their climate-changing smokestack emissions.

The EPA’s analysis of the new rules predicts an extra 300 to 1,500 people will die each year by 2030 because of additional air pollution from the power grid. But EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler in June said Americans want “reliable energy that they can afford,” adding he expected more coal plans to open as a result.

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