House Energy and Commerce Committee ranking member Henry Waxman, D-Calif., slammed lower-chamber conservatives on Tuesday for supporting a bill designed to limit Environmental Protection Agency regulations for new and existing power plants.
Waxman called the legislation, introduced in the House and Senate this month by Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., “a recipe for disaster.”
“The bill before us would upend the Clean Air Act,” Waxman said during a markup of the legislation by the Energy and Power Subcommittee. “Republicans are starting 2014 right where they left off in 2013. They’re denying the science of climate change, ignoring the risks, and trying to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from protecting the American people from air pollution.”
The bill would block EPA’s proposed new source performance standards for future power plants. It would also eliminate the regulation’s requirement that new plants install carbon-capture-and-storage technology and give Congress the power to determine a start date for forthcoming EPA regulations for existing plants.
Waxman was the only member of the panel to propose an amendment to the bill. The amendment stated that limits on EPA’s authority should not be permitted to take effect until an alternative standard yielding the same overall reduction in carbon emissions was proposed. It failed to pass, however.
Republicans on the panel defended the legislation, saying that EPA’s standard for future plants has not yet been commercially demonstrated and therefore is not achievable.
“When EPA’s proposal becomes finalized it will be impossible to build a new coal-fired power plant in this country because the technology is not available,” Whitfield, who chairs the subcommittee, said in his opening statement.
The panel advanced the bill to the full committee on an 18-11 vote.
What We're Following See More »
Along party lines, the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted to tighten privacy standards for Internet service providers. "The regulations will require providers to receive explicit customer consent before using an individual’s web browsing or app usage history for marketing purposes. The broadband industry fought to keep that obligation out of the rules."
President Obama commuted the sentences of another 98 drug offenders on Thursday. Most of the convicts were charged with conspiracy to distribute drugs or possession with intent to distribute. Many of the sentences were commuted to expire next year, but some will run longer. Others are required to enroll in residential drug treatment as a condition of their release.
The Department of Justice announced today it's charged "61 individuals and entities for their alleged involvement in a transnational criminal organization that has victimized tens of thousands of persons in the United States through fraudulent schemes that have resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in losses. In connection with the scheme, 20 individuals were arrested today in the United States and 32 individuals and five call centers in India were charged for their alleged involvement. An additional U.S.-based defendant is currently in the custody of immigration authorities."