That’s not a position NRDC takes lightly. We’ve disagreed with EPA administrators before. Pruitt, though, is intent on making the agency fail. That’s why we’ve joined with other environmental advocacy groups to call on President Trump to replace Pruitt with someone who’ll protect the people, not the polluters. Continue reading NRDC: It’s Time to Fire Scott Pruitt→
President Obama has vetoed a pair of measures by congressional Republicans that would have overturned the main pillars of his landmark climate change rules for power plants.
The decision was widely expected, and Obama and his staff had repeatedly threatened the action as a way to protect a top priority and major part of his legacy.
The White House announced early Saturday morning, as Obama was flying to Hawaii for Christmas vacation, that he is formally not taking action on the congressional measures, which counts as a “pocket veto” under the law. “Climate change poses a profound threat to our future and future generations,” the president said in a statement about Republicans’ attempt to kill the carbon dioxide limits for existing power plants.
“The Clean Power Plan is a tremendously important step in the fight against global climate change,” Obama wrote, adding that “because the resolution would overturn the Clean Power Plan, which is critical to protecting against climate change and ensuring the health and well-being of our nation, I cannot support it.”
That rule from the Environmental Protection Agency mandates a 32 percent cut in the power sector’s carbon output by 2030.
He had a similar argument in support of his regulation setting carbon limits for newly-built fossil fuel power plants, saying the legislation against it “would delay our transition to cleaner electricity generating technologies by enabling continued build-out of outdated, high-polluting infrastructure.”
Congress passed the resolutions in November and December under the Congressional Review Act, a little-used law that gives lawmakers a streamlined way to quickly challenge regulations from the executive branch.
Obama had made clear his intent to veto the measures early on, so the passage by both GOP-led chambers of Congress was only symbolic.
The votes came before and during the United Nations’ major climate change conference in Paris, as an attempt to undermine Obama’s negotiating position toward an international climate pact.
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee and a vocal climate change doubter, said it’s important to send a message about congressional disapproval, even with Obama’s veto.
“While I fully expect these CRA resolutions to be vetoed, without the backing of the American people and the Congress, there will be no possibility of legislative resurrection once the courts render the final judgments on the president’s carbon mandates,” he said on the Senate floor shortly before the Senate’s action on the resolutions.
Twenty-seven states and various energy and business interests are suing the Obama administration to stop the existing plant rule, saying it violates the Clean Air Act and states’ constitutional rights.
They are seeking an immediate halt to the rule while it is litigated, something the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit could decide on later this month.
All Republican candidates for the 2016 presidential election want to overturn the rules.
In addition to the veto, Obama is formally sending the resolutions back to the Senate to make clear his intent to disapprove of them.
Obama has now vetoed seven pieces of legislation, including five this year, the first year of his presidency with the GOP controlling both chambers of Congress.
It can be difficult to win an argument when you have no viable position. However, when you are the oil industry, you can just buy the win. Which is what the oil industry is poised to do regarding the lifting of the crude oil export ban.
The GOP is currently holding up Congressional action needed to avoid a government shutdown by demanding inclusion of the lifting of the crude oil export ban in the government spending package.
Here are some of the disingenuous arguments the oil industry has paid to have members of Congress make over the past two years. Read more.
The ongoing push to lift the ban on exports of U.S.-produced crude oil appears to be coming to a close, with Congress agreeing to a budget deal with a provision to end the decades-old embargo.
Just as the turn from 2014 to 2015 saw the Obama Administration allow oil condensate exports, it appears that history may repeat itself this year for crude oil. Industry lobbyists, a review of lobbying disclosure records by DeSmog reveals, have worked overtime to pressure Washington to end the 40-year export ban — which will create a global warming pollution spree. Read more.
World leaders reached an historic agreement in Paris moments ago, capping off the COP21 climate talks with a unanimous deal among 195 countries to curb global warming pollution and hasten the clean energy transition. The gavel just fell on the Paris Agreement, and it’s time to celebrate.
Is it enough to please everyone? No. Will people continue to suffer from climate-charged extreme weather events? Yes. But it is a welcome change from previous summit failures. Read more.
Caught in the crosshairs of an ongoing New York Attorney General investigation exploring its role in studying the damage climate change could cause since the 1970’s and then proceeding to fund climate science denial campaigns, ExxonMobil has announced an interesting job opening.
No, not the new lawyer who will soon send the “private empire” billable hours for his defense work in the New York AG probe, though that’s a story for another day. Exxon is hiring for a climate change researcher to work in its Annandale, New Jersey research park facility. Read more.
With a new global agreement on climate change gaveled into the history books in Paris tonight, many people including me believe we have just witnessed the end of the fossil fuel era.
So-called “pure play” fossil fuel companies that have not significantly diversified into other areas of energy production will be huddled in boardrooms this week trying to figure out what the Paris Agreement means to their bottom line. Read more.