WASHINGTON, D. C. – Attorney General Karl A. Racine today joined attorneys general from across the nation to announce an unprecedented coalition of 17 top law enforcement officials to protect and expand progress the nation has made in combatting climate change. Former Vice President and leading climate activist Al Gore joined several attorneys general in New York City today to announce the multi-state coordination efforts.
“Our office has a mandate to protect the public interest, and this includes ensuring that our community is not negatively affected by preventable climate change,” said Attorney General Racine. “We welcome this crucial state-to-state cooperation to ensure that we do everything we can to fight the causes of climate change regardless of whether the federal government continues to partner with us in these efforts or not.”
The states are exploring working together on key investigations, such as ongoing or potential inquiries into whether fossil fuel companies misled investors and the public regarding the impact of climate change on their businesses. Many of the states in the coalition have worked together on previous multi-state environmental efforts, including pressing the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to limit emissions from fossil-fueled electric power plants, defending federal rules controlling climate change emissions from large industrial facilities, and pushing for federal controls on emissions of the potent greenhouse gas methane from the oil and natural gas industry.
The Attorneys General are part a coalition of 25 states, cities and counties led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman that intervened to defend the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s “Clean Power Plan” against legal challenge. Today, the interveners filed a brief to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in support of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan rule, which requires fossil-fueled power plants, the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions in the nation, to cut their emissions pursuant to the Clean Air Act.
Attorneys general from 17 states and territories joined the effort. They include: California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, Washington state and the U.S. Virgin Islands.