SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A coalition of 22 Democratic-led states, including Maine, has sued the administration of President Donald Trump 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.
The lawsuit was filed by attorneys general in California, Colorado, 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.
In a statement, Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey, a Democrat, said the rules from the Republican president’s administration “will result in negative consequences for Mainers’ health, economic well-being, and way of life.”
The states were joined by six local governments in Boulder, Colorado; Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia and South Miami, Florida.
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.
BDN writer Michael Shepherd contributed to this report.