President Obama’s climate-change plan isn’t a “war” on the coal or oil industries, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in a Monday policy address, but an incremental approach to reduce carbon emissions while improving the existing energy infrastructure.
Moniz, speaking at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy, touched specifically on Republican accusations of an Obama “war on coal.” Those charges, Moniz said, “demonstrate misunderstanding or misstatement.” Coal will continue to be an energy source, he said, noting the proposed $6 billion investment in carbon-capture and sequestration technologies to reduce its environmental impact.
The wide-ranging address also defended the Obama administration from other frequent GOP attacks. The loan-guarantee program, Moniz said, is often associated with the Solyndra scandal, but in fact, its “track record is quite remarkable.” The program, part of the Energy Department’s effort to spur private investment in clean-energy projects, has more success stories than failures, he said. One example of that is Tesla Motors, which Moniz said has repaid its loan nine years ahead of schedule.
Another area of contention — whether climate change is actually occurring — is “not debatable,” Moniz said. “The evidence is overwhelming; the science is clear.” While focusing on long-term reductions in carbon emissions, he said the U.S. should also look at improving its energy infrastructure to deal with increasingly frequent incidents of extreme weather. Earlier in the day, Moniz and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced a partnership to develop an improved micro-grid to help the state meet its transit needs during weather emergencies.
Moniz also announced that his department is on pace to roll out several new efficiency standards for appliances, including walk-in refrigeration units, “small efficiency programs [that] can in fact yield huge results.”
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Since the release of the Access Hollywood tape, on which Donald Trump boasted of sexually assaulting women, "Senate Republicans have seen their fortunes dip, particularly in states like Florida, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada and Pennsylvania," where Hillary Clinton now leads. Jennifer Duffy writes that she now expects Democrats to gain five to seven seats—enough to regain control of the chamber.
"Of the Senate seats in the Toss Up column, Trump only leads in Indiana and Missouri where both Republicans are running a few points behind him. ... History shows that races in the Toss Up column never split down the middle; one party tends to win the lion’s share of them."
"Some Republicans are running so far away from their party’s nominee that they are threatening to sue TV stations for running ads that suggest they support Donald Trump. Just two weeks before Election Day, five Republicans―Reps. Bob Dold (R-Ill.), Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), David Jolly (R-Fla.), John Katko (R-N.Y.) and Brian Fitzpatrick, a Pennsylvania Republican running for an open seat that’s currently occupied by his brother―contend that certain commercials paid for by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee provide false or misleading information by connecting them to the GOP nominee. Trump is so terrible, these Republicans are essentially arguing, that tying them to him amounts to defamation."
Former Illinois GOP Congressman Aaron Schock "recently agreed to pay a $10,000 fine for making an excessive solicitation for a super PAC that was active in his home state of Illinois four years ago." Schock resigned from Congress after a story about his Downton Abbey-themed congressional office raised questions about how he was using taxpayer dollars.
If you need a marker for how confident Hillary Clinton is at this point of the race, here's one: CNN's Jeff Zeleny reports "she's been talking to Republican senators, old allies and new, saying that she is willing to work with them and govern."