Twenty-two states, including New York and California, and seven cities on Tuesday sued the Trump administration to challenge a rollback of the Obama-era's Clean Power Plan - which aimed to cut U.S. reliance on coal power.
The lawsuit charges that the new Affordable Clean Energy - or ACE - rule - finalized in June - will prolong the operation of dirtier coal plants and obstruct states pursuing clean energy.
Reuters correspondent Valerie Volcovici.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS CORRESPONDENT VALERIE VOLCOVICI SAYING:
"The lawsuit targeting the Trump administration's ace rule which replaced the Obama Clean Power Plan is significant in that the replacement is a real weakening of what was the signature or the marquee regulation out of the Obama administration in its broader climate change policy... It is part of a broader effort on the part of these states to push back against the rollbacks of the Trump administration. The states have sued on almost every rule from major to minor."
The ACE rule focuses on lowering the emission rates of the power plants rather than mandating targets for each state.
Obama's Clean Power Plan on the other hand had aimed to slash power plant carbon emissions by more than a third from 2005 levels by 2030. To do that utilities would have to drop coal in favor of cleaner fuels like natural gas, solar or wind.
In a statement Tuesday announcing the lawsuit, New York Attorney General Letitia James said that we are quote "careening toward a climate disaster" and that the coalition of states and cities will fight back against the QUOTE "unlawful do-nothing" rule.