Governor Phil Murphy

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Governor Murphy Announces That New Jersey Will Withdraw From West Virginia v. EPA Lawsuit


Attorney General Grewal Files Paperwork to Withdraw NJ From Case

Trenton – Governor Phil Murphy and Attorney General Gurbir Grewal today announced that New Jersey will withdraw from West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a case working its way through the federal courts in which certain states, including New Jersey, sued the federal government in an effort to undo President Obama’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) regulations.

“This case is completely contradictory to the values that we have in this state and to our commitment to clean energy,” Governor Murphy said. “We acknowledge the reality of climate change and attempting to stop smart regulations due to baseless fears about EPA overreaching is reprehensible. Governor Christie and his administration supported this lawsuit despite a wealth of evidence that tougher limits on carbon emissions are necessary to ensure a healthier future for our state.” The Office of Attorney General Grewal today filed paperwork withdrawing New Jersey from the lawsuit.

“The EPA’s Clean Power Plan rule is a comprehensive effort to slow down global warming and protect human health,” Attorney General Grewal said. “We believe that New Jersey should and can comply with the proposed requirement to submit a plan to reduce its production of carbon dioxide. By withdrawing from the current lawsuit that aims to prevent the Clean Power Plan rule from going into effect, New Jersey steps out of the role of obstructionist and begins the legal process of fighting for our future.”

The CPP was unveiled by President Obama in 2015 with the goal of reducing carbon emissions from power plants. Under the plan, each state would be required to achieve state-specific carbon goals that reflect current emission rates at existing fossil fuel power plants. By 2030, facilities are to have met their final reduced carbon goals.

The EPA is currently reviewing the CPP due to an Executive Order signed by President Trump in August mandating that the agency review the plan, creating uncertainty for the future of the CPP. West Virginia v. EPA is currently ongoing at the circuit court level. Because of a stay of rule filed with the Supreme Court, the plan has yet to be enacted.

“President Trump continues to deny the reality of climate change but New Jersey will continue to address the issue at a state level,” Governor Murphy said. “We continue to monitor the national situation and are prepared to take whatever action necessary as we fight for our state and our environment.”

On Monday, Governor Murphy announced that New Jersey would be rejoining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a multi-state compact aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions.