Ten US environmental groups have filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration, arguing its rules for addressing power plant pollution are insufficient to the point that they violate federal law. The suit follows a similar one from 22 states and several cities, arguing that the new rule violates the Clean Air Act by having nearly no impact on carbon emissions.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalised the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule to repeal and replace an Obama-era Clean Power Plan (CPP) carbon pollution regulation. The Trump Administration claims that the ACE will give states more time and authority to decide how to implement the best new technology to ease net emissions from coal-fired power plants.
States and environmental groups have long said that they would challenge the ACE in court, arguing that it does so little to curb pollution that it cannot be considered to be a serious regulation. Many environmental groups point to analysis showing that the ACE will actually increase pollution.
ACE does not set a specific carbon reduction target for states, and it is narrowly tailored to only deal with physical changes that can be made at power plants rather than broader regulatory solutions that could be imposed by states. Andres Restrepo, a lawyer with the environmental group the Sierra Club , said: “Power plants can run less frequently, less intensely. There can be renewable generation that fills up the gaps.”