By Ayesha Rascoe
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More than two dozen U.S. states and cities asked a federal court Tuesday to let them help defend the Obama administration's carbon emissions reduction plan from legal challenges being brought by other states.
California, New York, Iowa and Virginia were among the 18 states who filed a motion to intervene in lawsuits now pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit seeking to overturn the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan. Cities including New York, Chicago and Philadelphia are also participating in the effort to intervene.
"In the face of overwhelming scientific evidence, reckless politicians and polluters want to gut the president's clean air plans," California Governor Jerry Brown said in a statement.
"Today, California and its partners stand together in fighting these pernicious and dangerous lawsuits."
West Virginia, Texas and Florida are among the 25 states that have challenged the EPA's carbon reduction plan since it was officially finalized in October.
The opposing states, along with business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, argue that EPA overstepped its authority under the Clean Air Act when it issued the power plant rule. They have asked the circuit court to block the regulation until the court proceeding are completed.
The states seeking to intervene in support of the rule said in their motion they have a "compelling interest" in defending the plan and helping combat the effects of climate change on their residents.
(Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe; Editing by Christian Plumb)