17 American states are pushing back after President Donald Trump‘s executive order targeting the environment last week. The New York-led coalition is legally challenging the Trump administration after the president’s attempts to undo Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan. They say it’s the administration’s legal duty to regulate climate change-causing emissions.

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Trump’s executive order called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to suspend, rescind, or revise the Clean Power Plan, a law that would have required states to cut carbon dioxide emissions at power plants but which was challenged by 26 states led by Republicans. After the recent executive order, the EPA asked the United States court of appeals for the District of Columbia to delay proceedings over the law to give them time to review it. The 17 states say this move could delay litigation for years – time we need to spend acting on climate change. They asked the court to toss out the EPA’s request.

Related: 75 American mayors affirm climate goals even after Trump executive order

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New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement: “The law is clear: the EPA must limit carbon pollution from power plants. In order to repeal Obama-era protections, the Trump administration must replace those protections, as well – and we know how well repeal-and-replace went the first time around. My office will continue to defend the Clean Power Plan and aggressively oppose any effort to stand down from our shared responsibility to protect our environment and our climate.”

The 17 states – New York, California, Connecticut, Virginia, Delaware, Vermont, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Illinois, Oregon, Iowa, New Mexico, Maine, Minnesota, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Washington – were also joined by seven localities: the District of Columbia; New York City; Boulder, Colorado; Chicago, Illinois; South Miami, Florida; Broward County, Florida; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

According to New York’s press release, the Clean Power Plan could eliminate as much pollution as more than 160 million cars – 70 percent of America’s passenger cars – yearly could emit.

Via The Guardian

Images via Gage Skidmore on Flickr (1,2)