House Energy and Commerce Committee ranking member Henry Waxman, D-Calif., slammed lower-chamber conservatives on Tuesday for supporting a bill designed to limit Environmental Protection Agency regulations for new and existing power plants.
Waxman called the legislation, introduced in the House and Senate this month by Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., “a recipe for disaster.”
“The bill before us would upend the Clean Air Act,” Waxman said during a markup of the legislation by the Energy and Power Subcommittee. “Republicans are starting 2014 right where they left off in 2013. They’re denying the science of climate change, ignoring the risks, and trying to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from protecting the American people from air pollution.”
The bill would block EPA’s proposed new source performance standards for future power plants. It would also eliminate the regulation’s requirement that new plants install carbon-capture-and-storage technology and give Congress the power to determine a start date for forthcoming EPA regulations for existing plants.
Waxman was the only member of the panel to propose an amendment to the bill. The amendment stated that limits on EPA’s authority should not be permitted to take effect until an alternative standard yielding the same overall reduction in carbon emissions was proposed. It failed to pass, however.
Republicans on the panel defended the legislation, saying that EPA’s standard for future plants has not yet been commercially demonstrated and therefore is not achievable.
“When EPA’s proposal becomes finalized it will be impossible to build a new coal-fired power plant in this country because the technology is not available,” Whitfield, who chairs the subcommittee, said in his opening statement.
The panel advanced the bill to the full committee on an 18-11 vote.
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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.