The White House is threatening to veto legislation coming to the House floor this week that would block upcoming carbon-emissions standards for power plants.
The GOP-led bill, which the House is expected to pass, is highly unlikely to gain enough Senate traction to reach President Obama’s desk anyway.
But the veto threat issued Tuesday is part of the messaging thrust-and-parry over the White House’s climate-change plan and the Environmental Protection Agency’s power-plant rules that are at its core.
The White House, in a statement Tuesday, said the bill would threaten “the health and safety of Americans.”
The measure would “stifle progress in reducing carbon pollution by discouraging the adoption of currently available and effective technology, and would limit further development of cutting-edge clean-energy technologies,” the White House said.
Rep. Ed Whitfield, the Kentucky Republican who is a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is lead sponsor of the bill.
It would greatly soften planned emissions rules for future power plants that EPA is slated to finalize this year. Republicans and some conservative Democrats say the rules are a de facto ban on construction of new coal plants and call them part of a wider regulatory assault on the coal industry.
The bill would also prevent separate planned emissions standards for existing power plants from taking effect unless Congress votes to set the effective date for the regulation, which the White House notes could delay those standards indefinitely. EPA intends to propose those rules in draft form in June.
The House is likely to pass the bill Thursday. The measure’s chief backers are Republican, but its 94 cosponsors include seven Democrats.
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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.