Statement From A.G. Schneiderman On President Obama's Plan To Fight Climate Change

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today applauded President Obama’s ambitious and necessary vision laid out at Georgetown University to lead a global effort to reduce carbon pollution and prepare our nation for the impacts of climate change. Attorney General Schneiderman has worked tirelessly leading this fight at a state level to reduce the pollutionassociated with climate changeand he pledges to work with the Obama administration in this common effort.

“I applaud President Obama for his vision and detailed proposals today for moving our country forward in addressing the serious harms from global warming – the greatest environmental challenge of our time. The president’s commitment to finalizing, within two years, federal rules requiring existing fossil-fueled power plants to reduce their climate change pollution is an essential part of his plan. My office looks forward to working with the EPA, states, and other stakeholders to promptly develop strong rules. We also look forward to hearing more from the administration on its plans to control methane emissions from oil and gas development, another important source of climate change pollution requiring prompt action,” Attorney General Schneiderman said.

Attorney General Schneiderman's office is recognized as a national leader for spearheading a number of environmental protection efforts. Some recent examples include:

  • Just this week, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review a lower court’s decision to invalidate EPA's rule controlling interstate air pollution. The high court’s decision to review the case came after Attorney General Schneiderman led a coalition of 10 states and 5 cities in the filing of a court brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a case regarding an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule that would substantially reduce the amount of air pollution that is currently allowed to cross state lines. The filing was in support of a request by the federal EPA and a group of public health and environmental organizations for the Court to review and reverse a lower court decision that invalidated that rule.
  • This spring, the office faulted the U.S. State Department for failing to fully analyze the impacts that climate change pollution from the proposed Keystone XL and related oil pipelines will have on New York and across the United States. The Attorney General’s submitted his official comments criticizing the current federal environmental assessment of the project. The comments aim to ensure that the full climate-change impacts of the project are considered before the project can be approved.
  • The office won a landmark victory that ensures, for the first time, that the nation's Nuclear Regulatory Commission cannot issue new or renewed operating licenses for nuclear power plants until it thoroughly reviews the public health, safety and environmental hazards posed by long-term storage of nuclear waste at power plants around the country.
  • Leading a coalition of 11 states, Attorney General Schneiderman reached a settlement with the federal Environmental Protection Agency that compelled the agency to update national air quality standards for soot pollution and ensure all Americans, including the most vulnerable, will be protected.
  • Leading a coalition of seven states, the Attorney General filed notice of intent to sue the federal Environmental Protection Agency for violating provisions of the Clean Air Act by failing to address methane emissions from the oil and natural gas industry, including those from "fracking" operations. The oil and natural industry is the single largest source of man-made methane emissions in the U.S. and the second largest industrial source of domestic greenhouse gas emissions behind only electric power generating plants.