In a move that brings Canada further into American politics, President Donald Trump is launching a lawsuit against California for entering into a cap-and-trade agreement with the province of Quebec. Trump's California emissions lawsuit could end Quebec's agreement with California, but the province could also continue with its own initiative.
"The state of California has veered outside of its proper constitutional lane to enter into an international emissions agreement," assistant attorney general Jeffrey Bossert Clark said in a statement, according to the Montreal Gazette. "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."
California and Quebec entered into the Western Climate Initiative in 2014, which allowed companies in the state and province to purchase and sell each other's emission credits. This agreement was created as a way to try and fight climate change.
On October 23, Justin Trudeau was asked about the impending lawsuit during a press conference, but could not offer a solid answer on what his position would be.
"I don't know the details enough of what that challenge is and what impacts it will have on, not Ontario, but on Quebec," Trudeau said, "but it is certainly something we are going to look at very, very carefully."
According to CBC News, former officials from the Environmental Protection Agency are asking for an investigation by congress into the lawsuit, as they believe it has more to do with California not supporting Donald Trump politically than with foreign policy.
Trudeau says his government will look closely at the Trump administration’s challenge of the cap-and-trade system b… https://t.co/hKzM1GssAE— Marieke Walsh (@Marieke Walsh) 1571853351.0
Quebec Premier François Legault has said that while the partnership with California is working well, Quebec would continue its policy of cap-and-trade even if the state had to exit the agreement.
"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]," Legault said, according to CBC.
Trump has previously filed lawsuits against the state of California over its sanctuary and net neutrality laws.