NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today in West Virginia v. EPA to restrict the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to limit carbon emissions from power plants:
“Today’s ruling is a dangerous and irresponsible restriction on federal agencies’ ability to carry out their functions. Climate change is an imminent and indisputable threat, and EPA must be able to regulate the energy industry so that the worst consequences can be avoided. Despite this setback, my office will continue to be a champion for our environment, our future, and the health of New Yorkers. We will work to end our nation’s reliance on fossil-fuel power plants that pollute our environment, and move towards clean, renewable, and affordable electricity. It’s not too late to move off the path towards climate disaster, but we must take decisive action now.”
Attorney General James has long been a leader in the national effort to protect the planet from the impacts of pollution and climate change. In January 2022, Attorney General James led a coalition of 30 states and local governments in submitting a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in this case, providing a strong legal defense of the ability of EPA and states to set meaningful limits on climate change pollution from power plants under the Clean Air Act. In January 2021, Attorney General James won a lawsuit against the Trump Administration when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated the Administration’s Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, or so-called “Dirty Power” rule, which replaced the Clean Power Plan. The Clean Power Plan was the first-ever nationwide limit on one of the largest sources of climate change pollution — existing fossil-fueled power plants. The Trump Administration rule rolled back these limits and would have had virtually no impact on these emissions, prolonging the nation’s reliance on polluting, expensive coal power plants and obstructing states’ progress towards clean, renewable, and affordable electricity generation.