A troll who once called climate change a Chinese hoax on Twitter signed an executive order today that starts to roll back the country's plan to curb greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants. This will probably not result in the flourishing of coal jobs that Trump promised during his campaign, and at the same time, it probably will render the United States' commitment to the Paris climate agreement meaningless.
Nevertheless, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman—who has led the resistance of states, cities, and counties in defending former president Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan (CPP) in court—says repealing the CPP won't be so easy.
Existing case law dictates that the federal government still has a duty to regulate greenhouse gas emissions using up-to-date standards, Schneiderman said in a conference call with reporters today.
"If they repeal, they have to replace, and that didn't go so well the last time," he added.
Washington is one of the states that intervened to defend the CPP in court. Today, that same coalition of localities, including Washington, issued a statement opposing Trump's new, anti-climate executive order.
"We won’t hesitate to protect those we serve—including by aggressively opposing in court President Trump’s actions that ignore both the law and the critical importance of confronting the very real threat of climate change," the coalition said.
Washington governor and climate hawk Jay Inslee joined a group of West Coast governors and mayors to blast the executive order.
"This Order moves our nation in the wrong direction and puts American prosperity at risk," Inslee and the rest of Cascadia (plus California) wrote. "We will assert our own 21st century leadership and chart a different course."