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Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul
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January 19, 2021

ATTORNEY GENERAL RAOUL FILES LAWSUIT CHALLENGING THE EPA’S CLEAN AIR COST-BENEFIT RULE

Chicago — Attorney General Kwame Raoul today joined a multistate coalition in filing a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final Clean Air cost-benefit rule, which, under the guise of “increasing transparency,” negatively overhauls how the agency values environmental and public health protections. In particular, the rule would undercount the harmful effects of carbon emissions that lead to climate change and distort the value of co-benefits, the often-substantial benefits of a standard that addresses more than one pollutant.

“The EPA’s rule has wide-ranging implications for regulatory decisions and will undermine environmental and health protections that could have negative implications for years to come,” Raoul said. “Once again, the EPA is acting contrary to its mission. I will continue to oppose any policy that ignores science and allows harmful contributors to climate change to go unchecked.”

In June 2020, the EPA proposed a fundamental change in how it considers the relative costs and benefits of regulations under the Clean Air Act. The EPA has proposed establishing procedural requirements governing the development and presentation of cost-benefit analyses, including risk assessments, for significant rulemakings conducted under the Clean Air Act. Some states’ environmental laws and regulations, including Illinois’, adopt EPA standards in all or some instances, or at the very least require an express justification for any deviation. Raoul and the coalition argue that a fundamental change in how the EPA considers the relative costs and benefits of regulations would consequently affect standards that states typically implement and enforce to protect public health and the environment.

In the lawsuit, Raoul and the coalition argue that, among other technical and legal flaws of the rule, this biased approach is contrary to the EPA’s core mission to protect human health and the environment, as well as contrary to fundamental economic precepts and the legal requirement that the EPA base its standards on the best available information.

Joining Attorney General Raoul in the lawsuit’s filing in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia are the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin, as well as New York City.

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