A coalition of 29 states, including Wisconsin, and cities on Tuesday sued to block the Trump administration from easing restrictions on coal-burning power plants, setting up a case that could determine how much leverage the federal government has to fight climate change in the future.
The lawsuit is the latest salvo in a long-running battle over the future of coal and how to regulate the nation’s heavily polluting power plants, which are major producers of greenhouse gases that warm the planet.
The new challenge, filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, argues that the Trump administration’s replacement, known as the Affordable Clean Energy rule, ignores the E.P.A.’s responsibility under the law to set limits on greenhouse gases. The lawsuit also says that the new rule would actually extend the life of dirty and aging coal-burning plants, promoting an increase in pollution instead of curbing it.
Michael Abboud, an E.P.A. spokesman, said in a statement that the agency does not comment on pending litigation. Of the A.C.E. regulations, he said: “EPA worked diligently to ensure we produced a solid rule, that we believe will be upheld in the courts, unlike the previous Administration’s Clean Power Plan.”