FILE - EPA, United States Environmental Protection Agency

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul is taking the state back to court over a proposed clean air rule change in Washington. 

Kaul yesterday joined 21 other states and seven big cities in suing the Trump administration over the proposed Affordable Clean Energy rule. 

“Climate change is not only real; it’s a crisis,” Kaul wrote in a prepared statement. “We’re only beginning to see its effects, including severe flooding and extreme temperatures. We can’t afford to wait for 20 years or a decade to take meaningful action. We need to step up now and to start responding to the climate crisis like our kids’ future depends on it—because it does.”

The ACE rule would allow states to set their own rules for air pollution. That could lead to more states allowing power companies to use more coal in their power plants. 

The ACE rule also looks to overturn President Obama's Clean Power Plan. 

This is not the first time that Wisconsin has gone to court over a federal clean air rule. 

Wisconsin was among the 24 states that sued back in 2015 to stop President Obama's Clean Power plan from becoming law. 

Former Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, who was a Republican, argued the Obama-era rules would hamstring the state and represented a new threat from Washington.

"As one of the top manufacturing states in the nation, it is imperative that we join this fight against federal overreach into energy regulation in Wisconsin," Schimel said in a statement at the time. 

All 24 attorneys general who sued in 2015 were Republicans. 

Kaul and the rest of the attorneys general in the latest suit are all Democrats. 

President Trump's EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said this week that the Obama-era Clean Power Plan never fully went into effect. The Supreme Court stayed the rules in January 2016. President Trump won the election 11 months later. 

Staff Writer

An industry veteran with two decades of experience in media, Benjamin Yount reports on Illinois and Wisconsin statewide issues for The Center Square.