The Environmental Protection Agency will debut draft regulations on Monday to cut carbon emissions from power plants 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, according to multiple sources briefed on the proposal.
The Wall Street Journal first reported details of the climate rule on Sunday, saying that EPA will seek a 25 percent overall carbon cut by 2020. It will ratchet that requirement up to 30 percent by 2030.
Another source cautioned, however, that the 30 percent reduction may be one of several targets proposed by the EPA.
The agency plans to set varying reduction targets by state. And states will be able to chose from a menu of options to comply. This includes adding renewable-power generation to the grid, spurring energy-efficiency gains, and implementing market-based approaches, such as cap-and-trade, to rein in emissions.
The rules ares expected to be finalized by June 2015, and states will have until June 2016 to submit plans for achieving the standard.
The regulations stand as the centerpiece of the administration’s effort to address global warming. Once finalized, they will help shore up the president’s legacy on climate change. The White House also hopes the rules will pave the way for the U.S. to extract substantial commitments from nations such as China and India to reduce carbon emissions.
EPA and the White House declined to comment on the report.
The regulations drew quick praise, however, from Christiana Figueres, the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. ”[This] will send a good signal to nations everywhere that one of the world’s biggest emitters is taking the future of the planet and its people seriously,” Figueres said.
Environmentalists see the regulations as a major step forward for domestic climate policy. And green groups are gearing up to win public support for the rules while simultaneously defending it on Capitol Hill. EPA was set to brief individuals from major environmental organizations Sunday night on the technical details of the proposal ahead of its official release.
The administration can also count on Democratic backing. According to a White House official, the president held a call with a group of Senate and House Democrats Sunday afternoon to thank them for their support.
But not everyone is a fan. Moderate Democrats facing a tough fight for reelection in the midterms, such as Sens. Mary Landrieu of Lousiana and Mark Pryor of Arkansas, have previously voted to block EPA from regulating greenhouse-gas emissions.
And the regulations are sure to face a litany of legal challenges and legislative pushback.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell criticized the climate rules on Sunday, saying the regs it will “destroy jobs and raise costs for families across America.” The senator plans to introduce legislation next week to stop the regulations from taking effect. It is unlikely that McConnell will be able to secure enough votes to pass the bill in the Democratic-controlled chamber.
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When it comes to name-calling among America's upper echelon of politicians, there may be perhaps no greater spat than the one currently going on between Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Donald Trump. While receiving an award Tuesday night, she continued a months-long feud with the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. Calling him a "small, insecure moneygrubber" who probably doesn't know three things about Dodd-Frank, she said he "will NEVER be president of the United States," according to her prepared remarks."We don't know what Trump pays in taxes because he is the first presidential nominee in 40 years to refuse to disclose his tax returns. Maybe he’s just a lousy businessman who doesn’t want you to find out that he’s worth a lot less money than he claims." It follows a long-line of Warren attacks over Twitter, Facebook and in interviews that Trump is a sexist, racist, narcissistic loser. In reply, Trump has called Warren either "goofy" or "the Indian"—referring to her controversial assertion of her Native American heritage.
The House on Tuesday voted 403-12 "to pass an overhaul to the nation’s chemical safety standards for the first time in four decades. The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act aims to answer years of complaints that the Environmental Protection Agency lacks the necessary authority to oversee and control the thousands of chemicals being produced and sold in the United States. It also significantly clamps down on states’ authorities, in an effort to stop a nationwide patchwork of chemical laws that industry says is difficult to deal with."
"Leaders of the Republican Party have begun internal deliberations over making fundamental changes to the way its presidential nominees are chosen, a recognition that the chaotic process that played out this year is seriously flawed and helped exacerbate tensions within the party." Among the possible changes: forbidding independent voters to cast ballots in Republican primaries, and "doubling the number of early states to eight."
Citing the unpredictable nature of this primary season and the possible leverage they could bring at the convention, John Kasich is hanging onto his 161 delegates. "Kasich sent personal letters Monday to Republican officials in the 16 states and the District of Columbia where he won delegates, requesting that they stay bound to him in accordance with party rules."
"Speaker Paul Ryan is changing the rules of how the House will consider spending measures to try to prevent Democrats from offering surprise amendments that have recently put the GOP on defense. ... Ryan announced at a House GOP conference meeting Tuesday morning that members will now have to submit their amendments ahead of time so that they are pre-printed in the Congressional Record, according to leadership aides." The change will take effect after the Memorial Day recess.