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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, October 23, 2015

Obama EPA Publishes Costly Power Plant Regs; Employers Take Obama EPA To Court

Congressional Gold Medal
collectively to the Monuments Men
Today in Washington, D.C. - Oct. 23, 2015:
The House reconvened at 9 AM today. Today they took up and passed H.R. 3762 (240-189) — "To provide for reconciliation pursuant to section 2002 of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2016."

This is the only legislation being considered today. The House will recess early this afternoon and will reconvened at Noon on Monday.

Yesterday the House debated and passed primarily along party lines, with 8 Democrats voting with the Republicans, H.R. 1937 (254 - 177) — "To require the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to more efficiently develop domestic sources of the minerals and mineral materials of strategic and critical importance to United States economic and national security and manufacturing competitiveness."

Yesterday, the House and Senate leaders presented a Congressional Gold Medal collectively to the Monuments Men, in recognition of their heroic role in the preservation, protection, and restitution of monuments, works of art, and artifacts of cultural importance during and following World War II. Editor's Note: "The Monuments Men and women helped locate famous works of art confiscated by the Nazis, and return them to their rightful owners. There are currently only five surviving members -– four men and one woman –- of the Monuments Men." The ceremony took place in Emancipation Hall of the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center.

The Senate is not in session today and will reconvene on Monday at 3 PM.

At 5:30 PM on Monday, the Senate will vote on confirmation of the nomination of Lawrence Joseph Vilardo to be United States District Judge for the Western District of New York.

On Tuesday, the Senate will vote on 7 amendments to S. 754, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act and then on cloture on the bill.

Yesterday, the Senate voted 83-14 to invoke cloture on the Burr-Feinstein substitute amendment to S. 754, 32-65 to reject the Paul amendment to S. 754, and 93-0 to confirm Julie Furuta-Toy to be ambassador to Equatorial Guinea. Ambassadors to the Republic of Guinea, Zimbabwe, and Ghana were confirmed by voice vote.

In the News:
The Hill “President Obama’s landmark climate change regulation for power plants will be published on Friday, opening the door to challenges in Congress and the federal court system. The challenges are expected to begin shortly after the rule appears in the Federal Register.

“The publication of the rule comes nearly three months after Obama unveiled the regulation from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). . . . The rule, dubbed the Clean Power Plan, mandates a 32 percent cut in the power sector’s carbon dioxide emissions, through individual state targets that state regulators are responsible for meeting.

“In a notice posted Thursday morning, the Office of the Federal Register said the regulation would appear in Friday’s edition. The EPA’s opponents had cried foul when the regulation was not immediately published in the Register, claiming that the Obama administration was trying to delay challenges to it.”

The Wall Street Journal notes “In the works since 2013 and issued in early August, the regulations require a 32% cut in power-plant carbon emissions by 2030 based on emissions levels of 2005. Coal-fired electricity produced about 34% of the U.S.’s electricity in July and a much larger share in some Midwestern and Appalachian states. The coal industry is expected to be hit the hardest because coal emits the most carbon emissions of any power source.”

Today, another piece in The Hill points out, “Lawmakers are mobilizing quickly against the new climate change rule from President Obama, announcing they file formal congressional challenges on Monday.

“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Friday said he and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) will introduce a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to block the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pollution standards for new power plants. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) will introduce a resolution opposing EPA’s existing power plant rule at the same time. McConnell’s office said he will schedule a vote on the resolutions shortly afterward.”

A resolution under the CRA provides Congress the ability to eliminate onerous regulations imposed by the executive branch through an expedited procedure for consideration in the Senate.

Once the resolutions are filed, Leader McConnell plans to schedule votes on the CRAs to stop these devastating EPA anti-coal rules. These regulations make it clearer than ever that the president and his administration have gone too far, and that Congress should act to stop this regulatory assault. If both CRAs are enacted into law, they would nullify both pillars of the costly power rule even if portions of the plan have already gone into effect.

Senator McConnell said, “Here’s what is lost in this Administration’s crusade for ideological purity: the livelihoods of our coal miners and their families. Folks who haven’t done anything to deserve a ‘war’ being declared upon them. These are Kentuckians who just want to work, provide for their families, and deliver the type of low-cost energy that attracts more jobs to Kentucky. And coal is what allows so many of them do all that. It provides well-paying jobs and keeps the lights on. I have vowed to do all I can to fight back against this Administration on behalf of the thousands of Kentucky coal miners and their families, and this CRA is another tool in that battle. The CRAs that we will file will allow Congress the ability to fight these anti-coal regulations.”

Of course, Leader McConnell and Sen. Capito aren’t the only ones who will be challenging these costly and burdensome regulations. The New York Times writes, “As many as 25 states will join some of the nation’s most influential business groups in legal action to block President Obama’s climate change regulations when they are formally published Friday, trying to stop his signature environmental policy. . . . Within hours of the rules’ official publication on Friday, a legal battle will begin, pitting the states against the federal government. It is widely expected to end up before the Supreme Court. . . .

“The official publication of the rules will also spur legislative pushback on Capitol Hill, where Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, will introduce two resolutions to block them. . . . [B]y introducing the resolutions, Mr. McConnell hopes to convey to the world that Congress does not support the Obama regulations — a message that could be amplified if the Senate votes on the resolutions before or during the Paris summit meeting.

“The Obama administration has sought to ensure that the rules will not come under question before that meeting. By delaying the official publication of the rules until nearly three months after they were announced, for example, the administration appeared to be trying to ensure that no major legal decisions to weaken them would be issued before the Paris meeting.”

The Times adds, “A broad and powerful coalition of governors, attorneys general, coal companies, electric utilities and business groups such as the United States Chamber of Commerce will file suits contending that the rules, put forth under the 1970 Clean Air Act, represent an illegal interpretation of the law. They will also petition to delay implementation of the rule until the case is argued in federal court.

“‘The president’s illegal rule will have devastating impacts on West Virginia families, and families across the country,’ Attorney General Patrick Morrisey of West Virginia said in a statement. Mr. Morrisey, whose home state’s economy is heavily dependent on coal mining, is expected to play a lead role in the multistate lawsuit.”

As Leader McConnell said when the regulations were finalized in August, “Not only will these massive regulations fail to meaningfully affect the global climate, but they could actually end up harming the environment by outsourcing energy production to countries with poor environmental records like India and China.

“They may also be illegal. That’s why I wrote to governors earlier this year, suggesting they take a responsible wait-and-see approach and allow the courts to weigh in before subjecting their citizens to such unnecessary pain. . . .

“[T]his White House seems to want good politics, not good policy.

“Officials in this Administration have said they want to make electricity rates ‘skyrocket,’ and that they want to ‘make examples out of people’ who get in their way."

“And they’re tired of having to work with the Congress the people elected.

“That’s why the Administration is now trying to impose these deeply regressive regulations — regulations that may be illegal, that won’t meaningfully impact the global environment, and that are likely to harm middle-and-lower class Americans most — by executive fiat.

“It represents a triumph of blind ideology over sound policy and honest compassion.”

Tags: President Obama, EPA, power plants, regulations, Congressional Gold Medal, Monuments Men To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
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