Digital Access

Digital Access
Access theherald-news.com and all Shaw Media Illinois content from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, sports, business, classified and more! News you can use every day.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, weather, and more.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
Have our latest news, sports and obituaries emailed directly to you Monday through Friday so you can keep up with what's happening in the area.
State

Illinois AG joins lawsuit against federal limits to California’s regulatory powers

Coalition says Trump administration shouldn’t have right to limit state’s power to cap emissions

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, pictured at the Illinois State Fair earlier this year, announced that he joined a lawsuit this week against the federal government after it moved Thursday to revoke California’s ability to set stricter emission specifications than those required by President Donald Trump’s Administration.
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, pictured at the Illinois State Fair earlier this year, announced that he joined a lawsuit this week against the federal government after it moved Thursday to revoke California’s ability to set stricter emission specifications than those required by President Donald Trump’s Administration.

SPRINGFIELD – California’s ability to regulate the pollution limits of cars and light trucks should not be limited by the federal government, Illinois’ top lawyer argued in a joint court filing Friday, because those standards positively affect the health of his constituents.

Attorney General Kwame Raoul joined a group of 22 other states, the District of Columbia and two cities in suing the federal government after it moved Thursday to revoke the most populous state’s ability to set stricter emission specifications than those required by President Donald Trump’s Administration.

The lawsuit is testing the waters for how federal and state powers will be weighed when setting environmental policies to combat climate change. It was filed the same day as the Global Climate Strike, a march in more than 150 countries to urge political leaders to take action on global warming.

Raoul wrote in the court document he joined the coalition because he has “an obligation to represent the interests of the People so as to ensure a healthful environment for all the citizens of the State.”

By limiting California’s authority to dictate strong emissions standards of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, the federal government would effectively be increasing greenhouse gas emissions, according to the lawsuit. That would “contribute to and exacerbate the ongoing and future impacts of climate change” in the states that submitted the complaint.

The effects of climate change include, the attorneys general wrote, deterioration of the state’s infrastructure, parks, agriculture sector and tourism industry. That would likely cause a drop in the amount of tax revenue those states could collect. Additionally, air quality would decay, causing public health programs to spend more, they added.

“I simply will not tolerate the federal government’s actions to refute scientific facts and allow climate change to go unchecked, all while putting our environment and public health at risk,” Raoul said in a news release.

In the lawsuit, the attorneys general also argue the federal government’s decision to revoke California’s regulation ability affects their capability to meet air quality goals.

In January, Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker signed an executive order enrolling Illinois into the U.S. Climate Alliance, which, in part, aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26% to 28% of the levels from 2005. According to the state’s Environmental Protection Agency, it is on track to meet that goal.

“When the federal government is actually taking us backward on efforts to combat the climate crisis, states must act,” Pritzker said in a news release Friday.

“I look forward to building on that progress as we put Illinois on a path toward 100% clean and renewable energy.”

Also on the lawsuit against the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, the District of Columbia, the City of Los Angeles and the City of New York.

Loading more