US House Of Representatives Blocks Obama’s Climate Plan

  • Date: 07/03/14
  • Matthew Daly, The Associated Press

Aiming at the heart of President Obama’s strategy for fighting climate change, the Republican-controlled House voted Thursday to block the administration’s plan to limit carbon pollution from new power plants.

The bill targets Obama’s proposal for the Environmental Protection Agency to set the first national limits on heat-trapping carbon pollution from future power plants. It’s part of the GOP’s election-year strategy to fight back against what Republicans call a “war on coal” by the Obama administration.

The bill passed by a 229-183 vote. Ten Democrats, mostly from coal-producing states or the South, joined Republicans in support of it. Three Republicans opposed the bill.

A similar measure is pending in the Senate but faces a more difficult path.

“The Obama administration clearly wants to use its regulatory agenda to end coal-fired power generation in this country, but that is a pipe dream,” said Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, noting that coal provides nearly 40 percent of the nation’s electricity.

Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., called the EPA proposal “one of the most extreme regulations of the Obama administration. He said the proposed limits on carbon emissions would “make it impossible to build a new coal-fired power plant in America.”

As a practical matter, no new coal plants are currently being considered because of competition from cheap natural gas. But Whitfield, who chairs the House subcommittee on energy and power, and other Republicans argue that could change if natural gas prices keep rising.

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