Ten Democrats joined 219 Republicans to help the House pass legislation Thursday that would limit President Obama’s efforts to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions from power plants.
Only three Republicans — Reps. Chris Gibson of New York, Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington, and Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey — voted against the bill that was approved on a tally of 229-183.
The measure has little chance of getting through the Democratic-controlled Senate, and even if it did the White House issued a veto threat against the bill earlier this week.
The chief Republican sponsor of the bill, Rep. Ed Whitfield of Kentucky, said the bill would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from issuing limits on power-plant emissions that adversely affected the economy. “Far from barring EPA from controlling greenhouse-gas emissions, by insisting on standards based on proven technologies our approach will actually work,” Whitfield said in a joint statement with the Democratic sponsor of a similar bill in the Senate, Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
The bill would prevent EPA from issuing emission limits for future power plants unless it could show the standard had been met for a full year at six different plants using existing technology. It also would block new regulations set to be issued this year for existing power plants until Congress voted to set the effective date.
“If this bill were to become law, it would seriously cripple the Obama administration’s ongoing drive to curb dangerous carbon pollution, which is harming our air, our lands, and our waters, and push us ever faster on a path to unmanageable climate disruption,” said Dan Lashof, program director of the Climate and Clean Air Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Democrats who voted for the bill were Reps. John Barrow and Sanford Bishop, both of Georgia; Jim Costa of California; Henry Cuellar of Texas; Bill Enyart of Illinois; Jim Matheson of Utah; Mike McIntyre of North Carolina; Collin Peterson of Minnesota; Nick Rahall of West Virginia; and Terri Sewell of Alabama.
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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.