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September 27, 2019
Contact: Tom Lalley


New Report: State Attorneys General Empower the Growth of Clean Energy

Released during Climate Week, report highlights state AG efforts to facilitate nation’s transition to a cleaner energy future.

Washington, D.C. — Today, the State Energy & Environmental Impact Center at NYU School of Law released a report entitled State Attorneys General: Empowering the Clean Energy Future. The report provides an in-depth look at how state attorneys general have exercised states’ rights under federal and state laws, policies and practices to increase competition and help facilitate the full and fair participation of clean energy resources in electricity markets. These efforts are helping to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and other harmful pollution, and drive a clean energy industry that employs more than 3.26 million Americans. Clean energy jobs in the U.S. now outnumber fossil fuel industry jobs nearly three to one. 
“In recent days, millions of people around the world took to the streets to demand that governments act fast to transition away from fossil fuels and toward a clean energy future. At this moment of global urgency, the State Impact Center’s comprehensive report details the myriad ways that state attorneys general are fighting to challenge the Trump Administration’s dangerous energy policies and advance an equitable clean energy transition.” said Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. “I commend the Center for its excellent work and thank my colleagues for their willingness, time and again, to step into the breach on behalf of our communities and the future generations counting on us.”
The report details the specific laws that give states the authority to regulate energy production, and outlines numerous examples of how lawmakers, regulators and state attorneys general have used that authority to turn state clean energy policy into reality. State attorneys general have facilitated this growth by vigorously defending states’ rights under federal law, and assisting in the implementation of in-state clean energy mandates.
"This report provides a menu of key federal and state clean energy matters in which state attorneys general are involved.  It confirms that state attorneys general are playing a central role in ensuring that neither the federal government, nor incumbent energy providers, nor unscrupulous marketers are thwarting their states’ interest in equitably expanding their states’ clean energy production and use.” said David J. Hayes, Executive Director of the State Energy & Environmental Impact Center. 
State Attorneys General: Empowering the Clean Energy Future details how state attorneys general are active in both federal and state clean energy matters, including by:

  • Defending state energy rights against unlawful federal government interventions;
  • Defending state energy laws and policies against Commerce Clause and other federal challenges made by incumbent energy providers and other third parties;
  • Appearing as advocates in state regulatory proceedings to ensure that traditional state utility practices do not inhibit the type of market entry and competition needed to achieve their states’ clean energy goals and requirements;
  • Protecting state residents from fraudulent and misleading practices by energy suppliers; and 
  • Ensuring that utility planning considers both short-and longer-term economic and environmental interests, including climate impacts.

The report released today complements an earlier report by the State Impact Center that focused on a suite of environmental regulatory rollbacks that would negatively impact state clean energy and climate change interests by easing restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions from major sources in the coal, oil and gas, and automotive industries.


About the State Energy & Environmental Impact Center
The State Energy & Environmental Impact Center (State 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 our website