LOS ANGELES—City Attorney Mike Feuer today joined a coalition of 27 states and municipalities in filing a lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration’s final rule attempting to block future regulation of industries responsible for more than half of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from stationary sources, including emissions from the oil and gas industry. Finalized just days before the Trump Administration leaves office, the rule creates a new, arbitrary threshold to determine if an industry is a significant source of GHG emissions. If the industry emits less than 3% of total U.S. GHG emissions, the EPA claims it cannot be regulated under section 111 of the Clean Air Act.
"The Trump Administration’s last-ditch effort to undermine the absolutely essential fight against climate change is outrageous and must be overturned,” said Feuer. “Fires are raging and oceans are rising. We have precious little time and can ill-afford to roll back reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. I look forward to working with the Biden Administration to unwind the misguided policies of the past four years and help save our planet."
On December 20, 2018, the EPA put forward a proposal to weaken standards regulating GHG emissions from new coal-fired power plants. A California-led coalition submitted a comment letter objecting to the proposal. Last week, the EPA surprised the public by unveiling a final rule that departed dramatically from its original proposal. In promulgating the final rule, which does not contain any emission standards, the EPA failed to provide public notice that it would be replacing its past legal rationale for determining which sources “contribute significantly” to GHG pollution with an arbitrary 3% cutoff.
The EPA rushed out this new arbitrary test without first providing notice to the public and an opportunity to comment, which makes it illegal under the Clean Air Act and basic administrative rulemaking procedures. The coalition contends this effort to prevent the regulation of GHG emissions from any sources besides power plants is little more than a transparent attempt to tie the hands of future administrations.
On behalf of Los Angeles, Feuer joined the states of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin, the District of Columbia, and the cities of Boulder, Chicago, New York, and South Miami, and Broward County in filing today’s lawsuit.
A copy of the lawsuit can be found here: https://bit.ly/3iEzVUZ