In Slap at Obama, GOP-Led House Moves to Block Climate Rule

2 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Christie, Rubio stumble badly on basics.

WASHINGTON—The Republican-controlled House Tuesday approved a pair of measures blocking federal rules to cut power-plant emissions, a symbolic move aimed at sowing doubt about President Barack Obama’s climate agenda while world leaders gather in Paris to forge an accord on the problem. 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.

WASHINGTON – As President Barack Obama works to hammer out a global climate agreement in Paris, Republicans in Congress are moving to block his plan to force steep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. power plants.President Obama told reporters this morning that throughout much of the world, there are officials who argue about all kinds of issues, but the “one thing they’re not arguing about is whether the science of climate change is real and whether or not we have to do something about it.” Obama added, in a not-so-subtle shot at the Republican radicals running to replace him, “I think the president of the United States is going to need to think this is really important.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. 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. Your credibility and America’s ability to influence events depends on taking seriously what other countries care about.” The problem, of course, is that the GOP presidential hopefuls aren’t especially concerned with credibility on the international stage.

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. A measure blocking an Environmental Protection Agency rule for existing power plants was approved 242-180, while a measure blocking a rule on future power plants was approved 235-188. 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. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from the coal-mining state of Kentucky, standing second from right, is among Republicans intent on rolling back White House measures intended to limit greenhouse-gas emissions ©Chip Somodevilla (Getty/AFP/File) The EPA rules incensed Republicans including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is from the coal-producing state of Kentucky, when the White House announced Obama’s Clean Power Plan in August.

GOP lawmakers are also working to block federal dollars from supporting global climate efforts, and they are moving separate energy legislation this week that they say shows a contrast between their priorities and Mr. The votes come after the Senate approved identical motions last month under a little-used law that allows Congress to block executive actions it considers onerous.

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. Marco Rubio’s (R-Fla.) interview with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren, where the climate-denying senator stuck to his stale talking points – “the climate changing has always been changing” – before viewers saw this amazing exchange. Jeb Bush, campaigning for president in Iowa, said Tuesday that “I’m not sure I would have gone to the climate summit if I was president today” due to concerns about the potential economic impact on the U.S. of an agreement. 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. The Senate passed similar measures in mid-November, employing a rarely used legislative tool that allows it to nullify recent federal rules without reaching a 60-vote majority.

Democrats countered that the power-plant rules were important steps to slow global climate change that is already causing real harm through increased droughts, wildfires, floods and more severe storms. To the extent that reality still matters, the notion that the national debt – which Rubio is eager to add to with massive tax breaks for the wealthy that the country obviously can’t afford – poses a greater threat to the future than the climate crisis is simply bonkers. The fact that Rubio represents the state of Florida, of all places, where rising sea levels pose an existential threat, makes his posture that much more bizarre.

The global agreement “will prevent us from further overheating the earth and causing major disruptions to people’s lives, their property and to the global economy,” Pallone said. “We know that (climate change) will endanger our children’s future if we don’t act now.” The new rules being imposed by the Obama administration require states to cut carbon emissions by 32 percent by 2030, based on emissions in 2005. But there are now scientists saying that’s basically an arbitrary number.” If elected president next year, Rubio would be the only head of state of any democracy on the planet to reject climate science.

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. That measure, which the House is expected pass later this week, would expedite exports of natural gas, add new requirements to ensure the electricity grid remains operating, and streamline other aspects of energy policy in the wake of the country’s oil and natural-gas boom.

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