Senior House Republicans say a Treasury Department policy that restricts U.S. financing for building coal-fired power plants abroad will harm the poor.
A letter Friday from House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew bashes efforts to largely end funding for plants in developing nations that do not employ carbon-emissions-trapping technology.
Carbon capture and storage is “indisputably not ready for widespread commercial deployment. Requiring CCS would constitute a de facto ban on construction of state-of-the-art new coal-fired power plants — projects that some of the countries in greatest need of reliable and affordable electricity seek today,” the letter states.
Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., and Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., a top lieutenant on the panel, ask Lew to provide a list of power projects in the developing world that the policy may affect.
The letter also asks Lew whether the restrictions are at odds with “the long-standing policy of the United States to assist developing nations rise out of poverty.”
The restrictions are part of the White House climate plan rolled out in June. The policy carves out an exception for projects in the world’s poorest nations — if no other economically feasible alternatives exist and if the plants use the most efficient technology available.
The Treasury Department in October announced plans for seeking to limit coal-plant financing through multilateral development banks. And the Export-Import Bank of the United States approved separate financing limits Thursday.
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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."
Evan McMullin, the independent conservative candidate who may win his home state of Utah, is quietly planning to turn his candidacy into a broader movement for principled conservatism. He tells BuzzFeed he's "skeptical" that the Republican party can reform itself "within a generation" and that the party's internal "disease" can't be cured via "the existing infrastructure.” The ex-CIA employee and Capitol Hill staffer says, “I have seen and worked with a lot of very courageous people in my time [but] I have seen a remarkable display of cowardice over the last couple of months in our leaders.” McMullin's team has assembled organizations in the 11 states where he's on the ballot, and adviser Rick Wilson says "there’s actually a very vibrant market for our message in the urban northeast and in parts of the south."