Two children sued President Trump and members of his Cabinet on Monday for rolling back federal regulations meant to curb the effects of climate change.
The lawsuit was filed on the behalf of two Pennsylvania children in federal district court by a group called the Clean Air Council in Philadelphia.
“We will not stand idly by while President Trump and his agencies raze crucial environmental protections, ignore climate science, dispute well-documented facts and force future generations of Americans to suffer the consequences of this administration’s reckless choices and ignorant policies,” said Joseph Minott, the Clean Air Council’s executive director and counsel.
The lawsuit says the administration’s reasons for rolling back the climate rules are baseless and that the court should rule immediately to stop the administration’s efforts.
The “rollbacks” of the regulations would “increase the frequency and/or intensity of the life-threatening effects of climate change,” including hurricanes such as Irene and Sandy, according to Minott and the Clean Air Council. One of the two children in the suit says he or she was harmed by Sandy. The other child is affected by asthma.
“We must hold the federal government accountable for the long-term environmental harm that is propagating under its direction,” Minott said. “It’s time to fight back.”
The primary climate regulation that Trump is rolling back is the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of former President Barack Obama’s climate change agenda.
The lawsuit is similar to another one filed by Our Children’s Trust this year representing 21 young people against Trump for “perpetuating climate chaos.”
Although the president has sought to roll back the Clean Power Plan, the move is in the proposed rule stage and has not been been implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency. Until it is a final regulation, the federal court may not have room to rule on the litigation.
Nevertheless, the earlier case with Our Children’s Trust is scheduled to go to court Feb. 5.
Monday’s lawsuit is part a number of actions planned this week to protest the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate change deal as U.N. climate negotiations opened in Bonn, Germany on Monday.
Groups of protesters called the U.S. People’s Delegation will arrive in Bonn beginning Saturday “to counter the Trump Administration’s fossil fuel agenda and to hold U.S. states, cities, businesses and the public accountable to commitments to climate action.”
Groups of states and cities are participating in the COP23 U.N. climate change talks now that the federal government plans to leave the deal.
The talks in Bonn extend from Nov. 5 to Nov. 17.