Maui News

Suzuki Challenges Trump’s Environmental Rollbacks

December 31, 2018, 6:18 AM HST
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Hawaiʻi Attorney General Russell A. Suzuki joined a coalition of 29 states and local governments in challenging the Trump Administration’s proposed rollbacks of environmental protections.

Specifically, the coalition moved the “Fourth National Climate Assessment” into the rulemaking records for the Trump Administration’s proposed rollbacks of the Clean Car Standards and Clean Power Plan.

The Assessment’s findings reinforce the coalition’s arguments for maintaining the standards to reduce emissions and mitigate the harmful effects of climate change.

The Assessment – produced by more than 300 federal and nonfederal experts, including representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency and 12 other federal agencies – warns that without immediate action, the effects of climate change will severely harm public health, the environment, the economy, and national security.

“Climate change facts can’t be ignored,” said Attorney General Suzuki. “Rolling back regulations would be disastrous for the nation.”

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The coalition’s action supplements its previously-filed comments earlier this year in October. The coalition argued in its letters that it would be unlawful for the EPA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to move forward with their proposals to roll back emission reduction regulations for two of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions – vehicles and power plants – while ignoring the National Climate Assessment.

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Advocates of the legislation say the combined effects of rolling back the regulations would, in coming years, conservatively result in increased emissions equal to the annual emissions of 147 coal-fired power plants or an additional 127 million gasoline-powered cars on the road.

The assessment argues that halting emission standards would lead to catastrophic scenarios for every region of the nation, impacting public health, the environment, the economy, and national security.

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