Organizing for Action, the advocacy group born from President Obama’s reelection campaign, is leaping into a growing battle over the way regulators tally the economic harm from climate change.
The group is gathering online signatures for delivery to the White House Office of Management and Budget backing revisions to the metric known as the “social cost of carbon.”
“New data from the White House Office of Management and Budget shows the dangerous impacts of carbon pollution like never before — that’s no surprise to 97 percent of climate scientists who know that climate change is real and manmade. But climate-change deniers are trying to bury this report’s findings,” the group’s petition reads. “It’s time to face the facts. Stand up to tell the OMB you support an honest, scientific assessment of the social cost of carbon.”
The petition is the latest sign that disputes over the once-obscure metric, which regulators use to help calculate the benefits of rules that curb emissions, are growing.
Republicans and fossil-fuel industry groups say the increased federal estimate of carbon pollution’s toll, quietly released in May, was developed without enough transparency or outside review.
The OMB tweaked the metric again in November and agreed to open it up for public comment.
The GOP-led House passed legislation earlier this year that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from using the metric in energy-related rule-makings. A growing number of companies and groups — such as coal giant Peabody Energy and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — have also begun lobbying on the topic.
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President Trump added five new names to his Supreme Court short list on Friday, should a need arise to appoint a new justice. The list now numbers 25 individuals. They are: 7th Circuit Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Georgia Supreme Court Justice Britt C. Grant, District of Columbia Circuit Appeals Court Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, 11th Circuit Appeals Judge Kevin C. Newsom, and Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Patrick Wyrick.
"Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Friday the Justice Department will revamp its policy for issuing guidance documents. Speaking at the Federalist Society’s annual conference in Washington Friday, Sessions said the Justice Department will no longer issue guidance that 'purports to impose new obligations on any party outside the executive branch.' He said DOJ will review and repeal any documents that could violate this policy." Sessions said: “Too often, rather than going through the long, slow, regulatory process provided in statute, agencies make new rules through guidance documents—by simply sending a letter. This cuts off the public from the regulatory process by skipping the required public hearings and comment periods—and it is simply not what these documents are for. Guidance documents should be used to explain existing law—not to change it.”
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"The British publicist who helped set up the fateful meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a group of Russians at Trump Tower in June 2016 is ready to meet with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's office, according to several people familiar with the matter. Rob Goldstone has been living in Bangkok, Thailand, but has been communicating with Mueller's office through his lawyer, said a source close to Goldstone."