House Republicans are getting more aggressive in their effort to transform obscure provisions of a 2005 energy law into the strands that unravel EPA’s carbon-emissions rules for newly constructed power plants.
The Energy and Commerce Committee’s GOP leaders, in a new letter to the Environmental Protection Agency, demand the names of people at EPA who determined that the proposed emissions rules don’t run afoul of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
The letter also seeks a slew of internal documents.
Here’s what the fight is about: The 2005 law authorizes tax credits and Energy Department funding for projects using technology that traps carbon emissions from coal-based energy projects.
But provisions in the same law say a technology can’t form the basis for future EPA regulations simply because it’s deployed at these “clean-coal” projects.
EPA rules proposed in September would require future coal-fired power plants to trap and store a substantial amount of their carbon emissions.
The 2005 provisions suddenly matter because EPA has pointed to Energy Department-backed projects when making the case that carbon capture and storage is far enough along to form the basis for the rule.
But EPA says it’s in the clear, because this handful of projects backed under the 2005 law are far from the sole basis for the agency’s determination that CCS is ready for prime time.
The agency, in a detailed memo released several weeks ago, said it also reviewed projects that aren’t funded under the 2005 law and other information.
But Republicans say they’re not convinced. The letter seeks expansive documentation from EPA on the topic, such as internal emails and communications with other agencies.
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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.