Senior House Republicans say a Treasury Department policy that restricts U.S. financing for building coal-fired power plants abroad will harm the poor.
A letter Friday from House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew bashes efforts to largely end funding for plants in developing nations that do not employ carbon-emissions-trapping technology.
Carbon capture and storage is “indisputably not ready for widespread commercial deployment. Requiring CCS would constitute a de facto ban on construction of state-of-the-art new coal-fired power plants — projects that some of the countries in greatest need of reliable and affordable electricity seek today,” the letter states.
Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., and Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., a top lieutenant on the panel, ask Lew to provide a list of power projects in the developing world that the policy may affect.
The letter also asks Lew whether the restrictions are at odds with “the long-standing policy of the United States to assist developing nations rise out of poverty.”
The restrictions are part of the White House climate plan rolled out in June. The policy carves out an exception for projects in the world’s poorest nations — if no other economically feasible alternatives exist and if the plants use the most efficient technology available.
The Treasury Department in October announced plans for seeking to limit coal-plant financing through multilateral development banks. And the Export-Import Bank of the United States approved separate financing limits Thursday.
What We're Following See More »
Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”
“We haven’t seen a true leftist since FDR, so many millions are coming out of the woodwork to vote for Bernie Sanders; he is the Occupy movement now come to life in the political arena.” So says Bill Maher in his Hollywood Reporter cover story (more a stream-of-consciousness riff than an essay, actually). Conservative states may never vote for a socialist in the general election, but “this stuff has never been on the table, and these voters have never been activated.” Maher saves most of his bile for Donald Trump and Sarah Palin, writing that by nominating Palin as vice president “John McCain is the one who opened the Book of the Dead and let the monsters out.” And Trump is picking up where Palin left off.