Trump administration sues California over cap and trade deal with Quebec

Quebec is in the middle of a legal battle launched by the Trump administration against the state of California.

A U.S. lawsuit filed Wednesday takes aim at California over its 2013 cap and trade agreement with the province, saying the state had no right to conduct foreign policy.

“The state of California has veered outside of its proper constitutional lane to enter into an international emissions agreement,” said Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark said in a statement.

“The power to enter into such agreements is reserved to the federal government, which must be able to speak with one voice in the area of U.S. foreign policy.”

The Trump administration has frequently confronted the state over environmental policy.

Hundreds of former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency employees are urging a congressional probe into whether the agency’s feud with California represents retaliation for the state’s failure to support Trump’s political agenda.

Quebec Premier François Legault said Wednesday he would prefer California remain in the pact, but he’s prepared to go it alone if necessary.

“We are satisfied with cap-and-trade. If California ever were to leave the agreement, I think we can continue alone but I would prefer California remain in the agreement and even other states [join],” he told reporters in Quebec City.

Legault said the cap and trade system has proven effective in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and that he favours the policy over a carbon tax.

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