Monday, August 10, 2015


"Will new clean power regulations stand up to challenges?" PBS NewsHour 8/3/2015

The opposition is again putting short-term money issues before long-term concerns for Earth's environment and our health.


SUMMARY:  President Obama laid out new regulations that reset emissions standards for power plants and call for 28 percent of U.S. power to be generated from renewable energy.  States, industry groups and politicians pushed back, setting the stage for legal challenges.  Gwen Ifill gets views from Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

GWEN IFILL (NewsHour):  The President has made his climate change plans a major part of his second-term, legacy-making agenda.  Today, he laid out new details about a key component of his strategy: regulating power plant emissions.

But within moments of his speech, opponents within some industries and in many states were resisting the stricter standards.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:  Today, after working with states and cities and power companies, the EPA is setting the first ever nationwide standards to end the limitless dumping of carbon pollution from power plants.


GWEN IFILL:  With that, the president formally announced an even tougher clean power plan than expected.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:  So, the idea of setting standards and cutting carbon pollution is not new.  It’s not radical.  What is new is that starting today, Washington is starting to catch up with the vision of the rest of the country.

GWEN IFILL:  The rule, to be implemented by the EPA, means power plants must cut carbon dioxide emissions 32 percent by 2030.  That’s from 2005 levels.  Such a reduction would be up from a 30 percent cut in the original draft.  The revised rule also calls for generating 28 percent of U.S. power from renewable energy, up from 22 percent.

At the same time, it gives states extra time to begin reducing emissions.  Industry groups and a number of states pushed back today, saying the rule will cost jobs and cause spikes in energy prices.  And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, representing the coal state of Kentucky, promised to block the plan.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), Majority Leader:  It represents a triumph of blind ideology over sound policy and honest compassion.  And in Kentucky, these regulations will likely mean fewer jobs, shuttered power plants, higher electricity costs for families and businesses.  So, I’m not going to sit by while the White House takes aim at the lifeblood of our state’s economy.

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