AG Jepsen Joins Colleagues in Opposition to President Trump's Clean Power Plan Executive Order
Attorney General George Jepsen joined other state attorneys general and chief legal officers of several counties and cities in strongly opposing the executive order signed by President Donald Trump that rolls back the federal Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Clean Power Plan.
In addition to Connecticut, the Attorneys General of California, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia, the chief legal officers of the cities of Boulder (CO), Chicago (IL), New York (NY), Philadelphia (PA), South Miami (FL), and Broward County (FL) issued the following joint statement today in response to the executive order:
“We strongly oppose President Trump’s executive order that seeks to dismantle the Clean Power Plan.
Addressing our country’s largest source of carbon pollution—existing fossil fuel-burning power plants—is both required under the Clean Air Act and essential to mitigating climate change’s growing harm to our public health, environments, and economies.
We won’t hesitate to protect those we serve—including by aggressively opposing in court President Trump’s actions that ignore both the law and the critical importance of confronting the very real threat of climate change.”
The Clean Power Plan required fossil-fueled power plants – the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the country – to cut their emissions pursuant to the federal Clean Air Act. The EPA adopted the Clean Power Plan through a multiyear process that drew heavily on the experience of states, like Connecticut, and utilities in reducing power plant greenhouse gas emissions. The finalization of the plan marked the culmination of a decade-long effort by cities and states to require mandatory cuts in the emissions of climate change pollution from fossil fuel burning power plants.
"The state of Connecticut has consistently demonstrated a commitment to clean air, reduced emissions and the development of alternative energy sources, and it is incumbent upon the federal government to use its authority to protect our environment and our public health and welfare," said Attorney General George Jepsen. "My office is reviewing the details of this executive order, and we stand ready to join with our colleagues and partners in other states to use every legal means within our authority to protect the Clean Power Plan and the progress it represents."
On January 3, 2017, Attorney General George Jepsen sent a letter to then President-Elect Trump urging him to support the Clean Power Plan as an appropriate and well-tailored exercise of EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions through a meaningful cost effective approach to reducing carbon dioxide from power plants.
In November 2015, Connecticut was part of a coalition of 25 states, cities and counties, which intervened in defense of the Clean Power Plan against legal challenge in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The court heard oral argument en banc for a full day in late September; a decision is expected soon.