By Melissa Hanson MassLive Staff | October 21, 2020
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey on Wednesday has released a report that details more than 200 actions her office has taken against the administration of President Donald Trump in response to rollbacks of critical environmental protections.
Some actions have led to victories, Healey’s office said in a statement.
“Over the last four years, the Trump Administration has pursued a sweeping and corrupt agenda to roll back and undermine critical environmental protections for the benefit of Donald Trump’s corporate polluter friends,” said Healey. “We have fought these unlawful attacks at every turn, and we are winning. The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have only strengthened our resolve to continue this important work, and I’m proud of my environmental team and their efforts to protect the people of Massachusetts.”
The 17-page report, titled, “Fighting for a Healthy Massachusetts: Stopping Illegal Federal Environmental Attacks & Rollbacks” lists lawsuits, which were often collaborations with other state attorneys general, and highlights victories including climate protection, healthy air, clean water and affordable clean energy.
On climate protection, Healey’s office in 2017 led a group of states in a lawsuit successfully blocking the EPA’s illegal delay of rules to reduce climate-warming methane leaks from oil and gas facilities. Healey’s office sued and won when the Trump Administration attempted to roll back restrictions on the use of hydrofluorocarbons, the report indicates.
In 2018, the EPA tried to suspend the Clean Water Rule, which protects streams and wetlands from pollution. Healey’s office filed a brief to protect water resources and won.
Healey’s office cited a recent study by the Rhodium Group, which indicates that the Trump Administration’s rollback of federal regulations limiting greenhouse gas emissions would result in at least an additional 1.8 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases over the next 15 years. That would exacerbate the climate crisis, which is increasingly threatening Massachusetts with extreme weather and costly sea-level rise, the attorney general’s office said.
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