Obama Waves Veto Pen at House Bill to Kill EPA Climate Rule

The smoke stacks at American Electric Power's (AEP) Mountaineer coal power plant in New Haven, West Virginia, October 30, 2009. In cooperation with AEP, the French company Alstom unveiled the world's largest carbon capture facility at a coal plant, so called 'clean coal,' which will store around 100,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide a year 2,1 kilometers (7,200 feet) underground.
National Journal
Ben Geman
March 4, 2014, 1:28 p.m.

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.

What We're Following See More »
Libertarians Getting a Second Look?
3 hours ago
Trump Floats Gingrich, Kasich as Running Mates
3 hours ago

Newt Gringrich is actively positioning himself as a possible VP nominee for Donald Trump, according to National Review. After a New York Times piece mentioned him as a possible running mate, he said, "It is an honor to be mentioned. We need a new Contract with America to outline a 100-day plan to take back Washington from the lobbyists, bureaucrats, unions, and leftists. After helping in 1980 with Reagan and 1995 as speaker I know we have to move boldly and decisively before the election results wear off and the establishment starts fighting us. That is my focus." Meanwhile, Trump told CNN he'd be "interested in vetting" John Kasich as well.

House Dems Push on Puerto Rico, Citing Zika
5 hours ago

"House Democrats are stepping up pressure on Republicans to advance legislation addressing Puerto Rico’s worsening debt crisis by issuing a report arguing that austerity cuts can’t be sustained and have made the island more vulnerable to the mosquito-borne Zika virus." Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee released a report yesterday that argued "further sharp reductions in government spending can’t be a part of a legislative solution"—especially with a rainy season boosting the mosquito population and stressing an island health system already struggling to deal with the Zika virus.

Clapper: ISIS Can Stage Attacks in U.S.
5 hours ago

"ISIS has the capability to stage a Paris-style attack in the U.S. using local cells to strike in multiple locations and inflict dozens of casualties, according to the Obama administration's top U.S. intelligence official." Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told CNN's Peter Bergen that such a scenario is "something we worry about a lot in the United States, that they could conjure up a raid like they did in Paris or Brussels."

Trump to Name VP Search Committee
6 hours ago

"Donald J. Trump said on Wednesday that he expected to reveal his vice presidential pick sometime in July—before the Republican National Convention in Cleveland—but added that he would soon announce a committee to handle the selection process, which would include Dr. Ben Carson." He said he's inclined to name a traditional political figure, unlike himself.