Capitol Alert

Jerry Brown has stern words, flash drives for Republicans challenging climate rules

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., left, and Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León at the State Capitol Wednesday September 9, 2015 in Sacramento, Calif.
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., left, and Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León at the State Capitol Wednesday September 9, 2015 in Sacramento, Calif. pkitagaki@sacbee.com

Continuing to lambaste climate change skeptics as he prepares to attend a global climate summit in Paris, Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday chided the attorneys general of Texas and West Virginia for seeking to convey to world leaders their opposition to new federal emissions rules.

Officials in 24 states sued the Environmental Protection Agency in October for exceeding its powers in moving to limit emissions from power plants. Earlier this week West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sent Secretary of State John Kerry a letter asking him to highlight the legal challenge during the Paris talks, saying Kerry has “a duty to acknowledge to negotiating nations” the pushback.

“There are significant legal limits on (Obama’s) ability either to carry out the promises he has made in advance of Paris 2015 or to enforce any agreement arising out of the summit,” the officials wrote.

In response, Brown – who has championed California’s aggressive efforts to curb emissions and made the issue a centerpiece of his final term – sent Paxton and Morrisey a letter dismissing their argument as “legally flimsy.” California has joined other states in court filings supporting the federal plan.

“You’re sending a dangerous message to the world: on climate change, do nothing,” Brown wrote.

As he did with Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson, Brown included flashdrives loaded with research detailing the consequences of climate change. He needled the two attorneys general by alluding to specific impacts in Texas and West Virginia.

“Political expediency and legal obfuscation won’t cut it,” Brown concludes. “Crass obstructionism is not a solution.”

Jeremy B. White: 916-326-5543, @CapitolAlert

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