AG Coffman Says EPA Repeal Of Clean Power Plan Allows For State Leadership On Environmental Policy
Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman (R) welcomed Administrator Scott Pruitt’s announcement that the Environmental Protection Agency would sign papers “to withdraw the so-called Clean Power Plan of the past administration.”
Under Pruitt, the EPA argues the Clean Power Plan exceeded the EPA’s regulatory authority.
“The EPA’s decision to repeal this rule clears the way for a new rule making process that addresses the legal deficiencies in the old rule and thoughtfully considers input from various stakeholders, including States,” Coffman told Western Wire via email. “The goal should be a federal-State partnership that gives States a meaningful role in setting achievable emission standards without dictating how States manage their power grids. Colorado has been a national leader in establishing clean energy standards, and we continue to prove that the States can develop and implement sound environmental policy within the bounds of the law.”
Coffman sparred with Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, who challenged the legality of Coffman’s participation in the lawsuit against the Obama-era rule. The Colorado Supreme Court declined Hickenlooper’s petition.
Coffman asserted her office’s authority to challenge the EPA regulation without the approval of the governor, arguing that the Clean Power Plan was an illegal overreach by the agency.
“The roles of the governor and the attorney are separate and distinct. The two executive officers must work independently to best serve all the citizens of Colorado,” Coffman said in December 2015.
A total of twenty-seven states joined or filed separate lawsuits challenging the Clean Power Plan rule. Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, and Arizona participated in the lawsuits, with Nevada filing a “friend of the court” brief. Only New Mexico joined 17 other states in supporting the air regulation.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has announced plans to sue the Trump administration for repealing the Clean Power Plan.
Anti-fossil fuel groups like 350.org have vowed to oppose the EPA decision, saying the challenge will be “fought in the courts and in the streets.”
Coffman’s spokeswoman said is unclear how the litigation will unfold, but “will remain on hold while the repeal process runs its course.”
Hickenlooper announced in July that the state would join a coalition committed to the Paris climate agreement and establishing its own greenhouse emissions guidelines.