Colorado, Divided Over Clean Power Plan, Heads To Court

Colorado and other states head to federal court Tuesday to fight the country’s first-ever program to reduce carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants. Colorado’s leadership is split on whether to fight the Clean Power Plan.

Republican Attorney General Cynthia Coffman signed on with about two dozen other states to challenge a key provision of the Obama administration’s fight against global warming. It seeks to reduce carbon emissions 32 percent by 2030.

Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper is against the lawsuit and supports the plan. He asked the Colorado Supreme Court to settle the leadership clash earlier this year. The court declined to consider the governor’s request.

Three other states, Maryland, Michigan and Iowa, also have splits between their attorneys general and governors.

Heather Zichal, a senior fellow with the Washington, D.C.-based think tank Atlantic Council, said the Clean Power Plan is important for meeting a climate agreement signed in Paris last year.

“This is the most important tool that the United States has to meet our emissions reductions in Paris," Zichal said.