And looking at Trump’s promises to slash environmental regulations, including the CPP, as well as his numerous climate change-denying cabinet appointments—particularly Scott Pruitt, his nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—such a battle is likely.

Nonetheless, David Doniger, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, argued that scrapping emissions regulations “will not be as easy as some may think.”  

“The rule of law constrains what the incoming administration can do and how they can do it,” Doniger wrote in response to the Republican AGs’ letter. “The rules of politics constrain what even the most ardent climate-deniers can do in Congress. And the rules of the marketplace will keep power companies moving toward clean energy while Washington fiddles with policy.”

The Democratic AGs—who hail from the states of New York, California, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, the District of  Columbia, as well as Boulder, Colorado, New York City, South Miami, and Broward County in Florida—said they represent communities “on the front lines of climate change.”

“We see firsthand the significant human and economic costs inflicted by unchecked carbon pollution,” they wrote, “whether it is harms from severe drought in California, catastrophic storm surge in New York City, a record deluge on the Front Range in Colorado, routine high tide flooding in Hampton Roads, Virginia and in South Florida, or diminished shellfish harvest in Oregon and Washington state.”

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