New York University School of Law has announced a new center dedicated to helping state attorneys general fight regulatory rollbacks and other actions that undermine clean energy initiatives, efforts to combat climate change, and environmental protections.
With initial support of nearly $6 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the State Energy & Environmental Impact Center will provide legal, analytical, and communications support to state attorneys generals' offices across the country; provide the services of ten NYU fellows as special assistant AGs for two years with the aim of strengthening the capacity of AG offices; identify and coordinate pro bono representation; serve as a centralized source of information for AG initiatives; and raise public awareness of impending executive actions. David J. Hayes, former deputy secretary and chief operating officer at the Department of the Interior in the Clinton and Obama administrations, will serve as the center's executive director.
Hayes told the Washington Post that although "there's never enough" funding to support environmental advocacy, the grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies could support not only litigation against the Trump administration but enforcement activities at the state level.
"There may be no better example of how the Trump administration is quickly and quietly trying to deregulate, defund, and destabilize our basic regulatory infrastructure than environmental policy," New York State attorney general Eric Schneiderman, who has spearheaded several suits challenging changes to federal energy and environmental policies, told the Post.
"State attorneys general have a unique role in defending the citizens of their states from environmentally destructive actions and advancing the clean energy, climate change, and environmental interests of their constituents," said Hayes. "We look forward to working in close cooperation with state attorneys general around the country to support their efforts to address complex energy and environmental matters."