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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"North Korea said on Friday it might test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean after President Donald Trump vowed to destroy the reclusive country, with leader Kim Jong Un promising to make Trump pay dearly for his threats. Kim did not specify what action he would take against the United States or Trump, whom he called a 'mentally deranged U.S. dotard' in the latest bout of insults the two leaders have traded in recent weeks."
President Trump this afternoon announced another round of sanctions on North Korea, calling the regime "a continuing threat." The executive order, which Trump relayed to Congress, bans any ship or plane that has visited North Korea from visiting the United States within 180 days. The order also authorizes sanctions on any financial institution doing business with North Korea, and permits the secretaries of State and the Treasury to sanction any person involved in trading with North Korea, operating a port there, or involved in a variety of industries there.
In response to a reporter's question, President Trump said "he’ll be looking to impose further financial penalties on North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic tests. ... The U.N. has passed two resolutions recently aimed at squeezing the North Korean economy by cutting off oil, labor and exports to the nation." Meanwhile, the Guardian reports that South Korea's unification ministry is sending an $8m aid package aimed at infants and pregnant women in North Korea. The "humanitarian gesture [is] at odds with calls by Japan and the US for unwavering economic and diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang."
President Trump on Tuesday night met with UN Secretary Guterres and President of the General Assembly Miroslav Lajcak. In both cases, as per releases from the White House, Trump pressed them on the need to reform the UN bureaucracy.