A coalition of 17 US states filed a legal challenge on Wednesday against efforts by Donald Trump’s administration to roll back climate change regulations, deepening a political rift over his emerging energy policies, The Guardian reports.
Led by New York state, the coalition said the administration has a legal duty to regulate emissions of the gases scientists believe cause global climate change.
“The law is clear: the EPA must limit carbon pollution from power plants,” New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman said in a statement announcing the challenge.
Trump signed an executive order last week targeting climate change regulations ushered in by President Obama, saying they hinder US energy production and jobs without providing meaningful environmental benefits.
The order’s main target was Obama’s Clean Power Plan, a law that would require states to slash carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, but which was never implemented because it was challenged in court by 26 Republican-led states.
The New York-led coalition’s motion on Wednesday asked the court to throw out the EPA’s request to delay court proceedings, saying the delay “would waste the substantial resources already expended in this litigation”.
“This case is ripe for decision now, and nothing that EPA has proposed to do obviates the need for this court*s review,” according to the statement.
The coalition includes attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington –- along with the District of Columbia and a number of smaller localities.