Those groups said Mr. Obama’s plan was unduly burdensome to utilities and too costly for consumers, a position that Mr. Wheeler also embraced. He maintained that A.C.E. would lead to a reduction of 10 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions and provide net benefits of $70 million each year. He also, however, said the new rule could lead to new coal plants being built.
Xavier Becerra, the attorney general of California, another party to the lawsuit, called the Trump administration’s rule “toothless,” described it as the “fossil fuel protection plan” and said the rule artificially narrows E.P.A.’s authority. “The Clean Air Act requires the E.P.A. to utilize the best system of emissions reduction that it can find. This rule does the opposite,” he said.
Others joining the suit include Massachusetts, Colorado, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia. The cities involved are Boulder, Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, South Miami and Philadelphia.
Notably, the states of Wisconsin, North Carolina and Colorado were all parties to the Republican-led lawsuit when those states were led by G.O.P. governors.
“The blue-state coalition is getting bigger and the red-state coalition is getting smaller,” said David Doniger, senior strategic director of climate change policy at the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group. That organization, along with other groups like the Sierra Club and the Environmental Defense Fund, are expected to file their own legal challenge this week.