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 »
A Russian government think tank run by Putin loyalists "developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system." Two confidential documents from the Putin-backed Institute for Strategic Studies, obtained by U.S. intelligence, provide "the framework and rationale for what U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was an intensive effort by Russia to interfere with the Nov. 8 election."
"The FBI last year used a dossier of allegations of Russian ties to Donald Trump's campaign as part of the justification" to monitor Carter Page, who was then a defense adviser to the Trump campaign. "The dossier has also been cited by FBI Director James Comey in some of his briefings to members of Congress in recent weeks."
"The Air Force is set to deploy its high-tech, fifth-generation F-35A fighter jets to Europe this weekend as part of an effort to assure U.S. allies there who are worried about Russian aggression." The new, state-of-the-art fighters will train with European air units. "The Pentagon noted that the deployment had been long planned, meaning it was not a reaction to recent increasing tensions between the United States and Russia," although a statement noted the move is part of the "European Reassurance Initiative," which began three years ago when Russia annexed Crimea.