PHILADELPHIA- The City of Philadelphia today joined a group of 20 cities and states in a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, voicing “strong disagreement” with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt over his stance on the effect of the Supreme Court’s stay of the Clean Power Plan on the rule’s compliance deadlines.
In late March, 2017, Administrator Pruitt sent letters to the Governors of 47 states, including Pennsylvania, in which he stated that the States “have neither been required nor expected to work towards meeting the compliance dates set in the CPP.”
The letter in response was sent today to the Acting General Counsel of the EPA, Kevin S. Minoli, and was signed by, among others, Philadelphia City Solicitor Sozi Pedro Tulante. In the letter, the cities and states say that Administrator Pruitt’s statements are inaccurate. “Until and unless the EPA lawfully replaces the Clean Power Plan, it remains the law of the land, despite the current stay of its compliance deadlines.” The cities and states call on the EPA to retract the “premature and legally incorrect” letters from Mr. Pruitt to the Governors.
“Administrator Pruitt’s letter to the Governors was without basis in law and should be immediately retracted,” said Solicitor Tulante. “This response by many states and cities makes an important statement: compliance with the Clean Power Plan should be governed by the rule of law, not by political rhetoric.”
In addition to Solicitor Tulante, signatories to the letter include legal counsel to New York, California, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington, the District of Columbia, Boulder (CO), Chicago, New York City, Broward County (FL), and South Miami (FL).
“The Clean Power Plan is a critical tool to achieving Philadelphia’s Greenworks vision that all Philadelphians efficiently use clean energy they can afford,” said Christine Knapp, Philadelphia’s Director of Sustainability. “The CPP is a cost-effective way to reduce the carbon pollution emitted by our region’s power plants, improving air quality and reducing the causes of climate change.”
The letter also states that Administrator Pruitt’s letter in March violated his own vow to recuse himself from matters related to the CPP given his prior involvement in the lawsuit against the Plan.