A coal-state duo floated legislation Monday that would require congressional approval of President Obama’s rules aimed at slashing carbon emissions from the nation’s existing fleet of coal-fired power plants, according to a draft of the bill obtained by National Journal.
The pair of lawmakers — House Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. — come from two of the most coal-dependent states in the country, and they worry that the Environmental Protection Agency’s suite of regulations aimed at addressing climate change will cripple their states’ economies and the nation’s electricity supply, which is 40 to 45 percent coal-based.
The bill would make EPA’s forthcoming rules for existing power plants as well as for modified and reconstructed plants contingent upon Congress passing a law “specifying the effective date,” according to a one-page summary of the bill and a section-by-section summary. This would not bode well for EPA given the gridlock on Capitol Hill and could essentially stop the administration from finalizing the rules, which are a cornerstone of Obama’s agenda for addressing climate change without new legislation being approved by Congress.
The bill also addresses EPA’s rules for new power plants, proposed in September. It would block the proposal and require EPA to set a standard for coal-fired power plants that has “been achieved over a one-year period by at least six units located at different commercial power plants in the United states.”
Coal-state lawmakers are concerned that EPA’s proposed rules for new plants will require technology for carbon capture and sequestration that is not yet commercially available.
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Just after President Obama finished his address to the DNC, Hillary Clinton walked out on stage to join him, so the better could share a few embraces, wave to the crowd—and let the cameras capture all the unity for posterity.
In a speech that began a bit like a State of the Union address, President Obama said the "country is stronger and more prosperous than it was" when he took office eight years ago. He then talked of battling Hillary Clinton for the nomination in 2008, and discovering her "unbelievable work ethic," before saying that no one—"not me, not Bill"—has ever been more qualified to be president. When his first mention of Donald Trump drew boos, he quickly admonished the crowd: "Don't boo. Vote." He then added that Trump is "not really a plans guy. Not really a facts guy, either."
Tim Kaine introduced himself to the nation tonight, devoting roughly the first half of his speech to his own story (peppered with a little of his fluent Spanish) before pivoting to Hillary Clinton—and her opponent. "Hillary Clinton has a passion for children and families," he said. "Donald Trump has a passion, too: himself." His most personal line came after noting that his son Nat just deployed with his Marine battalion. "I trust Hillary Clinton with our son's life," he said.
Michael Bloomberg said he wasn't appearing to endorse any party or agenda. He was merely there to support Hillary Clinton. "I don't believe that either party has a monopoly on good ideas or strong leadership," he said, before enumerating how he disagreed with both the GOP and his audience in Philadelphia. "Too many Republicans wrongly blame immigrants for our problems, and they stand in the way of action on climate change and gun violence," he said. "Meanwhile, many Democrats wrongly blame the private sector for our problems, and they stand in the way of action on education reform and deficit reduction." Calling Donald Trump a "dangerous demagogue," he said, "I'm a New Yorker, and a know a con when I see one."
Vice President Biden tonight called President Obama "one of the finest presidents we have ever had" before launching into a passionate defense of Hillary Clinton. "Everybody knows she's smart. Everybody knows she's tough. But I know what she's passionate about," he said. "There's only one person in this race who will help you. ... It's not just who she is; it's her life story." But he paused to train some fire on her opponent "That's not Donald Trump's story," he said. "His cynicism is unbounded. ... No major party nominee in the history of this country has ever known less."