House Passes Bill to Let States Ignore Obama’s Climate-Change Rule

Under House bill, governors could opt out of power-plant regulations.

NEW EAGLE, PA - SEPTEMBER 24: A plume of exhaust extends from the Mitchell Power Station, a coal-fired power plant located 20 miles southwest of Pittsburgh, on September 24, 2013 in New Eagle, Pennsylvania. The plant, owned by FirstEnergy, will be one of two plants in the region to be shut down, affecting 380 employees. The Evironmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Obama administration have been taking major steps to get coal-fired power plants into compliance with clean air regulations. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
National Journal
Jason Plautz
Add to Briefcase
Jason Plautz
June 24, 2015, 1:20 p.m.

House Republicans advanced a bill Wednesday that would let states decide whether they want to follow upcoming Obama administration rules aimed at cutting climate pollution from power plants.

In a 247-180 vote, the House cleared a bill from Republican Rep. Ed Whitfield of Kentucky that would let governors opt out of the rules from the Environmental Protection Agency, which require states to limit carbon emissions from existing power plants. The bill would also delay implementation of the rule — set to be finalized this summer — until all legal challenges are settled, a process that could stretch on for years.

It’s one of several attacks from Republicans on the power-plant rules, the centerpiece of President Obama’s climate agenda. Industry groups and Republicans have said that the rule is a regulatory overstep that will cost jobs and raise electricity prices while delivering minimal environmental benefits.

Democrats, however, have vowed to protect the standards against Republican attacks, saying the final standards will save lives and provide a crucial weapon against climate change. Multiple Democratic amendments to the bill that would force governors to recognize the impact of climate change if they opt out were rejected by the House.

The White House has issued a veto threat of the bill.

The bill builds on a strategy promoted by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has urged governors to not comply with the EPA rules. Under the regulations, each state must craft its own compliance plan to meet separate emissions standards, with the EPA implementing a federal plan if a state does not comply. The Whitfield bill would bar any federal plan.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said on Wednesday that, barring massive changes in the final rule, his state would opt out of the plan. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a presidential contender, has indicated he would do the same, while Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has officially promised to opt out.

The House will also debate a fiscal 2016 appropriations bill this week that would limit the EPA’s ability to enforce the rule, although final votes on that bill will come after the July 4 recess.

What We're Following See More »
“VAULT 7”
Additional Charges Added in Wikileaks Case
26 minutes ago
THE LATEST

"Federal prosecutors have charged a former software engineer at the center of a huge C.I.A. breach with stealing classified information, theft of government property and lying to the F.B.I. The engineer, Joshua A. Schulte, 29, of New York, had been the main suspect in one of the worst losses of classified documents in the spy agency’s history. Government investigators suspect that he provided WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy organization, with a stolen archive of documents detailing the C.I.A.’s hacking operations, but they had not initially charged him in that crime."

Source:
BUT HE ASKS FOR $200 BILLION MORE IN TARIFFS
Senate Defies Trump on ZTE
27 minutes ago
THE LATEST

"The Senate voted Monday to reimpose the U.S. ban on Chinese telecom giant ZTE, in a rebuke to President Donald Trump and his efforts to keep the company in business. The provision targeting ZTE was part of the National Defense Authorization Act, a must-pass defense spending bill that cleared the Senate by a vote of 85-10. It must now be reconciled with the House version of the measure, which takes a narrower approach to ZTE." Separately, Trump is directing U.S Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to identify $200 billion more in tariffs on Chinese products.

Source:
OFFERED TO SELL DIRT ON CLINTON FOR $2 MILLION
Roger Stone Says He Forgot About Meeting with Russian
19 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Two longtime associates of President Donald Trump are now acknowledging a previously undisclosed contact in May 2016 with a Russian who they say offered dirt on Hillary Clinton. Roger Stone and Michael Caputo say they forgot to tell investigators about their contact with a Russian national who goes by the name Henry Greenberg — even though they say Greenberg offered to sell incriminating information to the Trump campaign for $2 million."

Source:
MCCONNELL WANTS A TREATY
Senators Want to Rubber Stamp Any North Korean Deal
6 days ago
THE LATEST

"As Trump signed a joint statement with Kim Jong Un that offered few details on how the North Korean leader would make good on his vow to denuclearize, Republicans on Capitol Hill said Tuesday that they want and expect the White House to submit any final agreement for their approval." Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called for any agreement to be in the form of a treaty.

Source:
UNLESS NEGOTIATIONS GO BADLY
Trump To Halt “War Games” On Korean Peninsula
6 days ago
THE LATEST

President Trump announced that the United States will suspend "war games" with South Korea, which are "inappropriate" given his meeting with North Korean leader Kim-Jong Un. "We will be stopping the war games which will save us a tremendous amount of money," said Trump, "unless and until we see the future negotiation is not going along like it should." The military exercises "carried out each year by the US and South Korean militaries have been consistently cited by Pyongyang as a US rehearsal for war, and a reason it needs to build a nuclear arsenal."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login