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NEW REPORT: State AGs Have Taken 80 Actions to Protect Environment, Climate & Clean Energy

Attorneys general playing critical role in defending and advancing progressive policies and regulations

New online hub shows all significant AG actions on the environment, climate and clean energy since January 2017

February 27, 2018
Contact: stateimpactcenter@nyu.edu

Washington, D.C.— A new State Energy & Environmental Impact Center report released today, "State Attorneys General: 13 Months of Critical Actions," shows that state attorneys general have taken at least 80 actions to advance and defend progressive clean energy, climate and environmental laws and policies since January 2017. These actions have included many of national significance, such as defending the Clean Power Plan, opposing offshore drilling and fighting construction of a proposed wall on the Mexico-United States border. 

In addition to filing high-profile lawsuits, attorneys general have been fighting for their constituents' interests on the front end of proposed legislation, rulemakings and other administrative and legislative processes. For the first time, this report documents in one place the depth, breadth and quality of state attorneys general's work on these matters of regional and national significance.

"This report makes clear the outsized role state attorneys general are playing in advancing and defending progressive policies, regulations and values pertaining to environmental protection, the causes and impacts of a changing climate and the development of a clean energy economy," said David J. Hayes, executive director of the State Energy & Environmental Impact Center. "State attorneys general are upholding the rule of law and stopping unlawful actions dead in their tracks at the courthouse. Attorneys general have also been active in shaping outcomes in advance by speaking out about the harms potential actions would have on their constituents. Anyone who believes we should take care of our environment, address the impacts of climate change and advance a clean energy economy should be grateful for the dogged work of state attorneys general over these last 13 months." 

In conjunction with releasing this report today, the State Energy & Environmental Impact Center has also launched an online hub showing all actions taken by state attorneys general of national or regional significance since January 2017. The hub is organized by state, issue, type of action and the relevant federal agency or department. It also provides a comprehensive listing of all actions in reverse chronological order. 

Most attorney general actions have come in response to rollbacks proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior. Issues of focus have included:
  • Defending the Clean Power Plan;
  • Opposing repeal of key Clean Water Act protections;
  • Fighting plans for offshore drilling and the repeal of drilling safety rules;
  • Forcing the implementation of finalized energy efficiency standards;
  • Requiring EPA to reduce dangerous ozone pollution;
  • Opposing the repeal of fracking regulations;
  • Ensuring that utilities pass savings from federal tax cuts to customers, not shareholders;  
  • Protecting public lands from unprecedented threats;
  • Upholding emissions standards for a range of vehicles, including truck gliders;
  • Defending the Bureau of Land Management's Methane Waste Prevention Rule;
  • Stopping massive budget cuts to EPA and Interior; and
  • Opposing border wall projects after environmental laws were disregarded.
In addition to the actions of the past 13 months, the report also outlines how attorneys general are poised to play a key role in promoting the clean energy transformation that is reducing climate pollution while bringing innovation, competition, jobs and new sources of domestic clean energy into electricity markets.
ABOUT THE STATE ENERGY & ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT CENTER: The State Energy & Environmental Impact Center is a non-partisan Center at the NYU School of Law that is dedicated to helping state attorneys general fight against regulatory rollbacks and advocate for clean energy, climate change, and environmental values and protections. It was launched in August 2017 with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies. For more information, visit http://www.law.nyu.edu/centers/state-impact.