Iowa Governor Blocks State’s Attorney General from Joining Lawsuit Challenging Trump Administration’s Power Rule

Published November 6, 2019

Iowa’s Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds blocked the state’s Attorney General Tom Miller from joining 21 other states in a lawsuit against the Trump administration over its policy replacing Obama-era restrictions on coal-fired power plants.

California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and the cities of Boulder, Colorado, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, South Miami, Florida, and the District of Columbia, are suing the Trump administration in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, alleging the administration’s Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, which replaced the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), violates the 1970 federal Clean Air Act because it does not meaningfully restrict coal fueled power plants’ greenhouse gas emissions.


Deal Blocks Iowa AG’s Lawsuit Efforts

Miller, a Democrat who supported the CPP’s limits on carbon dioxide emissions, asked Reynolds in July if he could sign on to the lawsuit. She denied him permission to do so in August.

In a statement given to the Associated Press, Pat Garrett, a spokesman for the Governor, said Reynolds supports the Trump administration’s climate policies.

“She [Reynolds] does not believe it’s in the best interest of Iowans for the state to join in this lawsuit,” said Garrett’s statement.

In May, Miller reached an agreement with Reynolds requiring him to get the governor’s permission to join such lawsuits in exchange for Reynolds vetoing a bill lawmakers had passed limiting the attorney general’s powers to file out-of-state lawsuits. If Reynolds had approved the bill, Iowa would have been the only state in the United States with such limits on the attorney general’s powers.

Kenneth Artz ([email protected]) writes from Dallas, Texas.