Attorneys General form coalition ‘to protect and expand’ climate change agenda

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( – Seventeen attorney generals from around the United States have formed a coalition “to protect and expand progress the nation has made in combating climate change” in a first of its kind partnership of law enforcement officials.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced that he would be joining the coalition in a press release Tuesday.

“Attorneys General Eric Schneiderman of New York and William Sorrell of Vermont co-sponsored the meeting, with attorneys general George Jepsen of Connecticut, Brian E. Frosh of Maryland, Maura Healey of Massachusetts, and Claude Walker of the US Virgin Islands in attendance, along with former Vice President and leading climate activist Al Gore, and representatives from a total of 17 state attorneys general offices,” the release says.

“With gridlock and dysfunction gripping Washington on the generation-defining issue of climate change, it is up to the states to lead. We stand ready to defend the next president’s climate change agenda and vow to fight any efforts to roll-back the meaningful progress we’ve made over the past eight years,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “And our offices will begin working together on important state-level initiatives, such as investigations into whether fossil fuel companies are misleading their investors about how climate change will impact their investments, fossil fuel companies, and our planet.”

Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh said, “Climate changes poses an existential threat to Maryland and to (the) nation. I am proud to join with my colleagues across the country in this important collaboration, and am willing to use every tool at our collective disposal to protect our air, our water and our natural resources. The pledge we are making today can help insure a cleaner and safer future.”

Today, the Commonwealth of Virginia filed a brief to the DC Circuit Court in support of the Clean Power Plan.

The Clean Power Plan is a centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s climate change agenda. It seeks a 32 percent reduction in carbon emissions from the power sector nationwide by 2030. The U.S. Supreme Court has delayed implementation while the D.C. Circuit court considers challenges.

— Written by Eric Scheiner