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California signals intent to sue over Trump’s coal rollback

SFGate Wednesday, 19 June 2019
California’s attorney general signaled his intent to sue the Trump administration over its rollback of landmark Obama-era environmental rules that sought to wean the nation’s electrical grid off coal-fired power plants and their climate-damaging pollution.

“No justification for gutting a law that would have significantly cut emissions & prevented thousands of premature deaths/year. Trump Administration might lack the necessary courage, but we’re prepared to confront the climate crisis head-on. #SeeYouInCourt,” Xavier Becerra, the attorney general, tweeted Wednesday morning.

Environmental Protection Agency chief Andrew Wheeler, a former coal industry lobbyist, has signed a replacement rule that gives states leeway in deciding whether to require efficiency upgrades at existing coal plants.

The new rule is set to replace an Obama Administration rule, known as the Clean Power Plan, that sought to reshape the country’s power system by encouraging utilities to rely less on dirtier-burning coal-fired power plants and more on electricity from natural gas, solar, wind and other lower or no-carbon sources.

Wheeler said coal-fired power plants remained essential to the power grid, something that opponents deny. “Americans want reliable energy that they can afford,” he said at a news conference. There’s no denying “the fact that fossil fuels will continue to be an important part of the mix,” he said.

The administration’s plan is not expected to have much of a direct impact on California, because the state gets very little of its electricity from coal-fired power plants. And nothing about the new rule will prevent California from pursuing its commitment to 100 percent clean energy by 2045.

“The Clean Power Plan is like a floor: It says you have to do this much. It doesn’t say you can’t do more,...
Credit: KSBW - Published < > Embed
News video: California goes after Trump EPA for plan to increase coal production

California goes after Trump EPA for plan to increase coal production 02:24

Attorney general Xavier Becerra said California will sue the Trump administration over the Affordable Clean Energy rule, which is designed to fulfill the president’s campaign promise to bring back the coal industry

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