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
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
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 »
Trump: Clinton “Doesn’t Have The Stamina” to be President
7 hours ago

At the end of the debate, moderator Lester Holt asked Donald Trump if he stands by his statement that Hillary Clinton didn't have the look of a president. Trump responded by saying Holt misquoted him, instead saying that Clinton "doesn't have the stamina." Clinton responded by saying that when Trump visits 112 countries as secretary of state, he can talk to her about stamina.

Trump: Clinton Camp Started Birtherism
8 hours ago

Donald Trump, when pressed by Lester Holt on why he finally admitted that President Obama was born in America, repeated his widely debunked claim that it was started by Hillary Clinton.

Conversation Shifts to Race
8 hours ago

Hillary Clinton went point by point on how race can so often determine the treatment that people receive, mentioning recent shootings in Tulsa and Charlotte, calling for restored trust between communities and police, and demanding criminal justice reform. Trump responded by calling for law and order and touting his endorsements from police unions. He then said that “African Americans are living in hell,” saying they are just walking down the street and getting “shot ... being decimated by crime."

During Debate, Trump Site Appears to Be Down
8 hours ago

Just as Hillary Clinton was inviting debate viewers to visit her site for real-time fact checking, there appeared to be a problem with Donald Trump's own campaign website. For about a 15-minute period, a blank page or an error message appeared when we tried to load the Trump site.

Trump Comes Out Swinging
9 hours ago

Donald Trump has come out in the first segment of this debate raring to go. Trump has interrupted nearly every answer being given by Hillary Clinton, talking over her time and again. Clinton is sticking to her guns, smiling while Trump speaks and then calling on people to go to her website and see the fact checking being done.