Congress rebukes climate rules as Obama returns from Paris

2 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

As Obama Pushes Climate Deal, Republicans Move to Block Emissions Rules.

Congress voted to block EPA carbon rules for power plants Tuesday, dealing a symbolic blow to President Barack Obama’s climate change agenda just as he returns from a landmark summit in Paris.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is attacking President Obama over his response to ISIS in a new video— and he’s using clips from the news website BuzzFeed to convey his message.WASHINGTON — Hours after President Obama on Tuesday pledged in Paris that the United States would be in the vanguard of nations seeking a global response to climate change, Congress approved two measures aimed at undercutting him.In a less-than-shocking development, President Obama said Tuesday he expects a Democrat to follow him into the White House — but he added that even a Republican successor will be interested in doing something about climate change. “One of the things that you find is when you’re in this job, you think about it differently than when you’re just running for the job,” Obama told reporters at a climate change summit in Paris. While the move will not stop the regulations at the heart of Obama’s pledge to drastically cut U.S. emissions, Republicans hope they can show other world leaders that the president’s successor may be unwilling to follow through on that commitment. “We want the world to know that there is disagreement with the president on this issue,” said Rep. The video juxtaposes ominous headlines and news clips related to the Islamic State with shots of a light-hearted February BuzzFeed video featuring the president.

Votes to block a pair of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules that limited carbon dioxide emissions from existing and new US power plants were due in the House of Representatives, after the measures passed the Senate last month. Obama can be seen making faces in front of a mirror and taking a selfie while clips of the Paris attacks, the recent Russian airliner disaster, and other events flash across the screen. The president responded to a question about whether a GOP president might scuttle a global climate change agreement, should diplomats strike one during their talks in Paris.. One thing they’re not arguing about is whether the science of climate change is real and whether or not we’re going to have to do something about it.” Nowhere else among the world’s major nations (and maybe the minor nations, too, though I don’t claim to be familiar with all 200 of them) is there a political party representing half the electorate which is adamantly opposed to doing anything to address climate change. They argue that the economic cost of the endeavor, particularly in coal mining states, would cripple industry and hike energy costs for millions of Americans.

Most of the Republican presidential campaigns have criticized many of Obama’s climate change and environmental moves, saying they will hurt U.S. economic growth. The far-reaching regulations form a core of Obama’s efforts to reduce overall US greenhouse gas emissions, as negotiators gather in Paris seeking to craft a historic global deal to tame global warming.

The Senate approved each measure by the same margin, 52 to 46, signaling that Republican congressional leaders would not be able to muster the two-thirds majority needed for an override. McConnell has accused Obama of seeking to implement his Clean Energy Plan “by executive fiat,” and has warned that the result could be the elimination of 250,000 jobs and higher energy costs in more than 40 states.

In those same remarks, Obama said of the Republicans: “Right now, I’m going to try to stay out of the campaign season … partly because I can’t keep track of all the candidates … So, I’ll wait until it’s winnowed down a little bit before I have an opinion.” “Just with respect to my successor, let me, first of all, say that I’m anticipating a Democrat succeeding me,” Obama said. “I’m confident in the wisdom of the American people on that front.” The people who believe this also tend to believe that the fact that it still snows in the winter constitutes proof that climate change isn’t happening, which shows the intellectual rigor they bring to this question.

Lawmakers voted 242-180 to pass a resolution that would block EPA rules governing existing power plants, with four Democrats joining all but two Republicans in support. James Inhofe and a gaggle of less prominent congressional knuckleheads, but also presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Rick Santorum, and Mike Huckabee. Barrasso was even more blunt. “The president’s problems cannot be relied on,” he said, noting that the congressional action to block the administration’s environmental rules was just one reason foreign leaders in Paris could not trust commitments made by Mr. And while their argument in the past has always been that we can’t confront climate change because moving away from fossil fuels would destroy the economy, they’ve shifted their focus in recent weeks.

While it supports making some aspects of the deal legally binding, the administration strongly opposes making the climate change targets themselves binding because that would trigger a requirement to submit the final agreement to the Senate, where Republicans would reject it. And though there’s always the possibility that a future terrorist attack could kill large numbers of Americans, the actual number of Americans killed here at home by jihadi terrorists since 9/11 stands at 26, which, as I keep saying, also happens to be exactly the number of Americans killed this year alone by lightning strikes. The deaths caused by climate change, on the other hand, are complicated to estimate with precision, don’t show up in YouTube videos, and don’t have the kind of dramatic violence that gets presidential candidates thumping their lecterns.

The bill would also lift a ban on crude oil exports. “Forty years later, our nation’s energy policies are still rooted in the era of the Arab oil embargo and energy scarcity — ideas that keep prices artificially high for consumers,” Representative Fred Upton, Republican of Michigan and chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, wrote in a recent op-ed in The Washington Times. According to a 2012 report commissioned by the governments of 20 nations, climate change kills 400,000 people a year worldwide, mostly through hunger and the spread of communicable diseases. At a news conference on Monday, the House majority leader, Kevin McCarthy, Republican of California, also stressed the need for increasing energy independence. Communities and states that are already fragile and have limited resources are significantly more vulnerable to disruption and far less likely to respond effectively and be resilient to new challenges.

In other words, climate change will produce the contexts in which threats to U.S. national security will fester and grow, which is just one of the reasons that the Republican policy position — do nothing — is so dangerous. McCarthy said. “Because everything I am reading is he’s downplaying what’s going forward.” “This one trend, climate change, affects all trends,” Mr. But here’s an interesting thing about that position: not only have they failed to persuade the American public that they’re right, they haven’t even persuaded their own voters.

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