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Obama climate change plan sidesteps Congress; includes controversial new regulations

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
June 25th, 2013
Catholic Online (

A climate change from U.S. President Barack Obama plans to curb emissions by use of executive powers that will sidestep Congress. Parts of this new plan includes new, controversial rules to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants. Opponents say this will only drive up domestic energy costs, and for working Americans, have a negative effect on the availability of jobs.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Obama will tout the plan in a speech this week. The proposal will beef up federal efforts to help deploy low-carbon and renewable energy. There are also programs intended to strengthen communities against climate-fueled extreme weather.

The plan also seeks to knock down trade barriers to climate-friendly goods and services. The proposal also wants to facilitate cooperation with India, China and other big carbon emitters, as well as curb U.S. support for overseas coal plant construction.

The bill faces big hurdles on and off Capitol Hill, especially when it comes to far-reaching rules to curb carbon from existing power plants, which account for around a third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, due to coal-plant emissions.

Tackling existing plants is a step the Environmental Protection Agency has previously said it would take, but now, for the first time, the agency has open White House backing.

The EPA will propose the existing plant standards by June of next year and finalize them a year later, an administration official said.

The plan is designed to get around Congress, where major climate bills have no political traction.

As expected, there is opposition to the plan. "While President Obama is preparing to roll out a new ream of red tape that will make American energy more expensive and destroy jobs, the House is moving forward with its all-of-the-above energy agenda this week," the office of current Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, John Boehner office said.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) vows to tether vulnerable 2014 Democrats to Obama's plan.

A National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman alleged over the weekend that Obama's plan will "effectively crush the economy in West Virginia, Kentucky, Alaska, Arkansas, and Louisiana - not to mention plenty of other states like Michigan."

"Whether or not Mark Begich, Mark Pryor, Mary Landrieu, Kay Hagan, Gary Peters or any candidates in these states support the initiative is irrelevant - the fact is that their embrace of the Obama agenda is hurting folks back in their home states," Brad Dayspring, the GOP group's communications director said.

Regulations will also draw legal challenges. The slower-than-expected rise in global surface temperatures over the last 10-15 years is giving climate skeptics openings to challenge the need for new regulations, while creating puzzles for climate scientists studying the slowdown.

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