In a television interview this month, however, Trump said he was “still open-minded” about the science of climate change.
Schneiderman said states like New York are “on the front lines of climate change” and have demonstrated how to cut pollution and emissions while protecting affordable and reliable electricity, creating jobs and growing the economy.
“The Clean Power Plan builds on that successful work and is a blueprint for the critical action needed to fight climate change’s devastating environmental, economic and public health impacts,” he said.
Under Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Clean Energy Standard, established this year, 50 percent of New York state’s electricity must come from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar by 2030. New York and eight other states are part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade program that has reduced carbon dioxide emissions from electrical generation in the region by 40 percent from 2005 levels.
In California, the nation’s most populous state, which also signed the letter, the goal is also to have half of its energy from renewable sources by 2030 and a 40 percent reduction of greenhouse gases.
The letter to Trump lists local impacts of climate change from fossil fuel emissions, including drought in California, catastrophic storm surge in New York City, a record deluge on Colorado’s Front Range, high-tide flooding in Virginia and South Florida and diminished shellfish harvests in Oregon and Washington state.
Besides New York and California, the letter is signed by attorneys general from the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington as well as officials from Broward County and South Miami, Fla., Boulder, Colo., and New York City.
The legal challenge, filed by 27 states that oppose the Clean Power Plan, is before a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. A decision on the plan could come at any time, but the U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily blocked implementation of the rule until the court challenge is resolved.