ATTORNEY GENERAL JOSH STEIN
TOTAL ACTIONS: 20

Updated December 14, 2018

OCTOBER 2018

October 31, 2018
Opposed EPA’s ‘Legally Flawed’ Rollback of the Clean Power Plan
A coalition of 19 AGs submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency demanding that the Trump administration withdraw the “Affordable Clean Energy” rule, the administration’s proposed replacement for the Obama-era Clean Power Plan. The AGs’ comment letter includes the most comprehensive analysis published to date on the severe technical errors and extraordinary legal flaws included within the proposed rule. The AGs noted in their comments that the EPA’s proposed rule will lead to as many as 1,630 premature deaths, 120,000 asthma attacks, 140,000 missed school days, and 48,000 lost work days in 2030 compared to the Obama-era Clean Power Plan. The proposed rule will also lead to 15,000 additional cases of upper respiratory problems, as well as a rise in rates of heart and lung disease.
Release | Comments | 19 AGs: New York; California; Connecticut; Delaware; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Minnesota; New Mexico; North Carolina; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; Washington, D.C. ]


October 26, 2018
Submitted comments opposing rollback of Clean Car Standards
A coalition of 21 AGs submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opposing the agencies’ proposed “SAFE” (“Safer, Affordable, Fuel Efficient”) Vehicles rule. If finalized, the “SAFE” Vehicles rule would freeze national Clean Car Standards for passenger vehicles and light trucks. The current Clean Car Standards are expected to prevent up to 2,000 premature deaths, 50,000 cases of respiratory ailments and reduce asthma symptoms for 24 million Americans, including 6.3 million children.
Release | Comments | 21 AGs: California; Connecticut; Delaware; Hawaii; Iowa; Illinois; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Minnesota; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; Washington, D.C. ]


October 12, 2018
Filed an Amicus Brief in Support of MA and NY Exxon Mobil Investigations
A coalition of 20 state attorneys general filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit calling for the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by Exxon Mobil Corp. that seeks to halt the climate change-related investigations brought by New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey on First Amendment grounds. On the same day, a coalition of four former Massachusetts attorneys general filed an amicus brief supporting AG Healey’s right to complete her ongoing investigation based on the office's longstanding authority and responsibility to investigate potential cases of misrepresentation or fraud.
Multi-State Amicus Brief | Former AG Amicus Brief20 AGs: Delaware; Oregon; California; Connecticut; Hawaii; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Minnesota; Mississippi; New Jersey; New Mexico; North Carolina; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; Washington, D.C. ]


AUGUST 2018

August 27, 2018
Sent a letter to EPA, DOT Requesting an Extension of the Public Comment Period for New CAFE Standards
Following the announcement of their intent to file suit against EPA and DOT over fuel efficiency standards, a coalition of 18 AGs sent a letter to EPA Acting-Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Deputy Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Heidi King requesting an extension of the public comment period for the Trump Administration’s new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards. The AGs noted past precedent and argued that the significance and complexity of the Administration’s proposal necessitates a 120-day comment period. The AGs also argued that more public hearings are warranted, and formally requested that at least one public hearing be held in California given the Administration’s plan to revoke California’s Clean Air Act waiver.
[Letter | 18 AGs: California; Connecticut; Delaware; Iowa; Illinois; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Minnesota; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington; District of Columbia]


August 17, 2018
Submitted Comments Rejecting EPA’s Proposed Anti-Science Rule
After AGs wrote letters to EPA and the National Academy of Sciences and testified in opposition to a proposal to undermine the use of science in EPA rulemaking, a coalition of 16 AGs submitted comments to the EPA demanding the Agency pull back the proposed rule. EPA’s proposed rule would limit EPA reliance on scientific studies that do not provide public access to all underlying data and methodologies, a move that would prevent the agency from using peer-reviewed research into the health effects of pollution and human exposure to harmful substances.

The AGs noted that it is common practice to keep the medical histories of individuals participating in such studies confidential, and argued that EPA’s proposal has less to do with improving “transparency” than excluding “the science underpinning EPA action to protect the environment and our citizens from harm.” The AGs also argued that EPA’s proposed rule runs contrary to existing federal law requiring the Agency to consider the best science available in the development of new rules.
[ Release | Comments | 16 AGs: New York; New Jersey; California; Connecticut; Delaware; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Minnesota; North Carolina; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Washington; District of Columbia]


August 6, 2018
Submitted Comments to BSEE Objecting to the Rollback of Key Offshore Drilling Safety Requirements
A coalition of 10 AGs submitted comments to the Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), asking the Bureau to abandon its proposed rollback of critical components of the Blowout Preventer and Well Control Rule. The AGs argued that BSEE’s plan would weaken safety standards and increase the likelihood of another spill like the Deepwater Horizon disaster of 2010.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra also argued against BSEE’s proposed rollback in comments filed separately with the Bureau. Attorney General Becerra’s comments strongly aligned with the comments submitted by the other 10 AGs, and raised specific concerns regarding BSEE’s rule-making methodology and failure to provide an Environmental Impact Statement as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
[Release | Joint Comments | California Comments ] 11 AGs: California; Maryland; Connecticut; Maine; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; Oregon; Washington; Virginia.]


August 2, 2018
Announced intention to file suit against the EPA, DOT over Car Emissions Standards
A coalition of 20 Attorneys General announced that they were prepared to fight the Trump Administration’s proposal to revoke California’s waiver under the Clean Air Act, which allows the State to set its own emissions standard for greenhouse gas emissions. The AGs announced that they are also prepared for a legal battle over the Administration’s proposal to weaken emissions standards for passenger cars and light trucks for model years 2021 through 2026.

12 States and the District of Columbia have adopted the emissions standards set by California, which is the only State that is able to set its own standard under federal law. AGs from all 12 States and the District of Columbia joined the coalition.
[Statement | 20 AGs: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai’i, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia]


JULY 2018

July 26, 2018
Filed Amicus Brief Challenging Appellate Court Ruling on HFC Prohibition
A coalition of 18 Attorneys General filed an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to overturn a divided U.S. District Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Mexichem Flour vs. EPA (2017). Relying on a strained reading of the Clean Air Act, a divided lower court ruled that EPA does not have the authority to phase out the use of hydroflourocarbons (HFCs) in air conditioning and refrigerants, even though HFCs are potent greenhouse gases (“air pollutants” under the Clean Air Act) that contribute significantly to climate change.

In their brief, the AGs advanced a compelling argument that the lower court erred in its reading of Section 612 of the Clean Air Act. They joined with environmental and industry petitioners in requesting Supreme Court review.
[Amicus Brief | 18 AGs: Massachusetts; Connecticut; Delaware; Hawai’i; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Minnesota; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; and the District of Columbia]


July 19, 2018
Filed Suit Against EPA Over Glider Truck Rule
*Update: On July 26, 2018 EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler withdrew the rule at the heart of this suit, representing a major win for the Attorneys General in this case (See memo: “Conditional No Action Assurance Regarding Small Manufacturers of Glider Vehicles”). 

A coalition of 16 Attorneys General filed a lawsuit against the EPA for the Agency’s suspension of its 2016 Glider Truck Rule. In its press release announcing the suite, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said that EPA’s decision is dangerous to human health and the environment. “The EPA itself has estimated that adding 10,000 gliders with non-compliant engines onto our roads in a single year could result in up to 1,600 premature deaths, 415,000 tons of additional nitrogen oxide emissions, and 6,800 tons of additional particulate matter emissions over the lifetime of those trucks. We look forward to making our case in court and to holding the EPA accountable for its blatant violation of our laws.”

[Release | Petition for Review | 16 AGs: California; Delaware; Illinois; Maine; Maryland; Minnesota; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington; and the District of Columbia


July 13, 2018
Submitted a Letter Demanding Immediate Withdrawal of EPAs Glider Truck Rule
A coalition of 13 Attorneys General submitted a letter critical of EPA’s new guidance on its “Glider Rule” limiting the number of new, extremely high polluting trucks allowed per year. The AGs’ letter demands that Acting Administrator, Andrew Wheeler revoke EPA’s “de facto suspension” of the Glider Rule, a decision the AGs write is “clearly unlawful.”

The coalition argued that EPA’s decision would have a dramatic and detrimental impact on the environment and public health based on the Agency’s own data. The States also announced that “absent quick action on your part to withdraw or stay EPA’s de facto suspension, the States are prepared to take action in court.”
[Letter | 13 AGs: California; Connecticut; Illinois; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Vermont; and Washington]


MAY 2018

May 9, 2018
Opposed FirstEnergy Emergency Order
Ten Attorneys General in filed comments with the Department of Energy (DOE) warning Secretary Rick Perry that he cannot invoke emergency powers under the Federal Power Act (FPA) to prop up failing power plants. FirstEnergy Solutions has asked DOE to declare a grid "emergency" under Section 202(c) of the FPA, based on anticipated retirements of non-competitive power plants in the region. FirstEnergy's requested order would "undermine competitive regional power markets, burden customers with excessive costs, undercut state energy laws and policies, and exacerbate pollution and public health harms," said the AGs in their comments.
[ Release | Comments | 10 AGs: Connecticut; Illinois; Maryland; Massachusetts; North Carolina; Oregon; Rhode Island; Virginia; Washington; and Washington, D.C. ]


APRIL 2018

April 26, 2018
Filed Comments to Defend the Clean Power Plan
Nineteen attorneys general filed comments with the EPA to defend the Clean Power Plan (CPP) and oppose the "unlawful and unsupported" repeal proposed by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "EPA's proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan is contrary to the Clean Air Act and arbitrary and capricious. To propose to repeal the Plan-without having first put in place a replacement rule that requires equivalent or greater pollution reductions-is nothing less than an abdication of EPA's duty to protect public health and welfare from what it has recognized to be the nation's most urgent environmental threat," wrote the attorneys general.
[ReleaseComments | 19 AGs: California; Connecticut; Delaware; Hawai'i; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; North Carolina; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; and Washington, D.C.]


MARCH 2018

March 9, 2018
Opposed Offshore Drilling Plans in Comments Filed with Interior
Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh led a coalition of 12 state attorneys general in filing comments with the Department of the Interior expressing strong opposition to plans to expand drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts and in the Gulf of Mexico. "The Secretary of the Interior should defer to our opposition to drilling in areas off our states' coasts, and should exclude all such areas from any new or revised [Outer Continental Shelf] leasing program. Indeed, failure to do so would be inconsistent with the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act…and the Department of Interior's past practice of not imposing offshore drilling over state opposition."
Release Comments | 12 AGs: California; Connecticut; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; Oregon; Rhode Island; Virginia; Washington]


FEBRUARY 2018

February 27, 2018
Responded To EPA's “Advance Notice” Of Rule To Possibly Replace Clean Power Plan
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman led 18 attorneys general in filing comments opposing the "Environmental Protection Agency’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ('Advance Notice') on a 'potential' replacement to the Clean Power Plan."
[Release | Comments | 18 AGs: California; Connecticut; Hawaii; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; Washington, D.C.]


February 1, 2018
Urged Secretary Zinke to Terminate Offshore Drilling Plans
A coalition of 12 attorneys general, led by North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, sent a letter to Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke urging him to terminate Interior's plan in the Draft Proposed Program to expand offshore drilling.
[Release | Letter 12 AGs: California; Connecticut; Delaware; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; Oregon; Rhode Island; Virginia]


JANUARY 2018

January 30, 2018
Opposed Ditching Drilling Safety Protections Established After Deepwater Horizon Disaster
Six state attorneys general, led by Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, filed comments opposing the Department of the Interior's proposal to scrap safety measures implemented for offshore oil and gas production in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion off the Gulf Coast.
[Release Comments to Interior 6 AGs: Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New York; North Carolina; Virginia]


January 10, 2018
Pushed FERC to Ensure Tax Cuts Benefit Customers, Not Utilities
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey led a bipartisan coalition of 12 state attorneys general in calling on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to ensure customers, not utility companies, benefit from recently enacted federal tax cuts.
[Release | Letter | 12 AGs: California; Connecticut; Illinois; Kentucky; Maryland; Massachusetts; Nevada; New York; North Carolina; Rhode Island; Texas; Virginia]


January 5, 2018
Sought to Slam Brakes on EPA Rollback of Truck Rule 
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra  led 12 attorneys general in opposing the EPA's attempt to repeal a key rule that limits the amount of emissions permitted from trucks known as "gliders." These trucks have a new body but a refurbished engine. The 2016 Glider Rule holds these trucks to the same emissions standards new trucks must meet. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced he would seek to repeal the Glider Rule, reportedly after meeting “with the manufacturer that stands to benefit most from the rule’s repeal."
[Release Comments 12 AGs: California; Connecticut; Illinois; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Vermont; and Washington]


OCTOBER 2017

October 23, 2017
AGs Oppose Bailout Plan For Coal-Burning Power Plants
Attorneys general submitted comments opposing the Department of Energy's proposal to subsidize nuclear and coal power plants.
[Release | Comments to FERC (NY only); Comments to FERC |11 AGs: California; Connecticut; Illinois; Maryland; Massachusetts; North Carolina; New York; Oregon; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington]


JULY 2017

July 21, 2017
Opposed First Step in Plan to Permit Offshore Drilling off Atlantic Coast
Attorneys general "submitted comments opposing the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (NMFS) proposal to conduct deep penetration surveys in the Atlantic Ocean. In the letter submitted today, the attorneys general point out that the surveys pose a significant risk to the coastline, the environment, and to marine life."
[Release |Letter to NMFS | 9 AGs: Connecticut; Delaware; Maryland; Massachusetts; North Carolina; New York; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Washington, D.C.]


JUNE 2017

June 6, 2017
Joined National "We Are Still In" Pledge To Maintain Commitments To Paris Climate Agreement 
Attorneys general declared they are still committed to the goals outlined in the Paris Climate Accord after President Trump announced the United States would pull out of the agreement.
[Release | Pledge | 19 AGs: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, D.C.]