Office of the Vermont Attorney General

Attorney General Donovan Joins Coalition to Defend Clean Power Plan

April 27, 2018

Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan joined a coalition of 27 states, cities, and counties to fight for clean air and oppose the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan. The Clean Power Plan is the first nationwide limit on climate change pollution from existing fossil fuel-burning power plants.
“The Clean Power Plan plays a key role in protecting our environment,” said Attorney General Donovan. “We’re seeing the impacts of climate change in Vermont with increasingly severe storms and rising temperatures that could threaten our ski and maple industries. Vermont has been a part of helping defend the Clean Power Plan for years and we will continue to work to protect clean air, Vermont’s environment and the public health of all Vermonters.”

In comments submitted to the EPA in response to the Agency’s proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan, the coalition argued that the EPA was taking action without legal or factual support. The comments argue that the repeal ignores both the Plan’s scientific underpinnings and the EPA’s obligation to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants under the federal Clean Air Act.

The Clean Power Plan is 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, will control these emissions by setting limits on the amount of climate change pollution that power plants can emit. The rule for existing plants is expected to eliminate as much climate change pollution as is emitted by more than 160 million cars a year – or 70 percent of the nation’s passenger cars.

The 27-member coalition joining Vermont in the filing of the comments included the Attorney Generals of New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia, and the chief legal officers of the cities of Boulder (Colorado), Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, and South Miami (Florida), and the county of Broward (Florida).

The Vermont Attorney General has been active in defending the Clean Power Plan and was a member of the coalitions that intervened in defense of the Clean Power Plan and the companion rule for new power plants against legal challenges in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2015. The Vermont Attorney General has also participated in efforts to limits climate change pollution from other sources, including cars and oil and gas facilities, and participated in the legal challenge that resulted in the United States Supreme Court’s landmark 2007 decision that paved the way for using the Clean Air Act to limit climate change pollution.

Last modified: April 27, 2018