A coalition of 28 state Attorneys General including California’s has called for additional public hearings on the Trump Administration’s plan to roll back the 2015 Clean Power Plan.
Given that the Administration’s proposed Dirty Power Plan is, as it acknowledges, three rules in one, the Attorneys General urge the Administration to extend the comment period to 121 days and hold additional public hearings.
“All of us across America deserve a voice in deciding the fate of our families when it comes to the air we breathe and the climate we live in,” said California AG Xavier Becerra. “The Trump Administration must answer the question: how do you justify a Dirty Power Plan that you admit will cause up to 1,400 additional deaths per year?
“Our children, our families and our planet deserve more than 61 days to weigh in on a plan that will significantly accelerate climate change, the most pressing environmental issue of our time,” Becerra said. “At the California Department of Justice, we will continue doing all we can to fight on their behalf.”
The letter identifies three important reasons why the comment period should be extended and additional public hearings are warranted:
* EPA itself admits that its proposal is effectively three rules in one: proposing far weaker emissions reductions, restructuring the regulatory framework for state plans, and carving out a loophole enabling fossil-fuel powered plants that undergo modifications to avoid permitting obligations under the Clean Air Act.
* EPA has only proposed to hold one public hearing, despite EPA Acting Administrator Wheeler’s admission that it must provide for the “fullest possible public participation.”
* The Clean Power Plan was the result of unprecedented outreach and engagement, itself being subject to a 120-day public comment period and four public hearings when proposed.
The 2015 Clean Power Plan was the culmination of a decade-long effort by partnering states and cities to require mandatory cuts in the emissions of climate change pollution from fossil fuel-burning power plants under the Clean Air Act.
The Clean Power Plan, along with the companion rule applicable to new, modified, and reconstructed power plants, would control these emissions by setting limits on the amount of climate change pollution that power plants can emit.
The Clean Power Plan would eliminate as much climate change pollution as is emitted by more than 166 million cars a year – or 70 percent of the nation’s passenger cars.
A copy of the Attorneys Generals’ letter can be found here.