Trump light bulbs
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a sign supporting coal during a rally at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on October 10, 2016. / AFP / DOMINICK REUTER (Photo credit should read DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images)

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) joined major public interest groups to urge the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit to overturn the Trump administration’s plan claiming to address climate change. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently finalised a plan that would fail to avoid a climate catastrophe.

“With climate change impacts rising, and clean energy costs falling, EPA should be strengthening the Clean Power Plan, not scrapping it for a do-nothing dirty power scheme,” said David Doniger, senior strategic director in NRDC’s Climate & Clean Energy programme. “We’re going to court today to stop Trump from destroying the clean air laws we have to protect Americans’ health and safety from the nation’s biggest climate polluters.”

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The groups filed a petition asking the appeals court to review EPA’s Affordable Clean Energy rule, which would not cut power plant carbon pollution and the agency’s plan to dismantle the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, considered the best option to clean up those plants.

The groups are: Appalachian Mountain Club, Center for Biological Diversity, Clean Air Council, Clean Wisconsin, Conservation Law Foundation, Environmental Defense Fund, Environmental Law & Policy Center, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, Natural Resources Defense Council and Sierra Club.

In June, EPA issued a final rule replacing the Clean Power Plan instated by former president Barack Obama, now allowing states to set emissions standards for coal-fired plants. The Trump administration had said the previous rule was “overreaching.”

Introduced in August 2015, President Obama’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), introduced four years ago in August 2015, called for national US standards to address carbon pollution from power plants and transition to “cleaner sources of energy” by 2030. Both Obama and EPA had forecasted $26 billion to $45 billion net climate and health benefits.