US House passes bill to weaken climate plan

Published 01:36 on June 25, 2015  /  Last updated at 01:36 on June 25, 2015  /  Americas, US  /  No Comments

The US House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 247-180 to pass a bill designed to prevent the EPA from implementing its Clean Power Plan.

The US House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 247-180 to pass a bill designed to prevent the EPA from implementing its Clean Power Plan.

The bill, sponsored by Republican Ed Whitfield, would put implementation of the Clean Power Plan on hold until all legal challenges against it have been decided, and let states decide individually whether or not they would comply with it.

Republicans are fighting the Clean Power Plan, saying the EPA is over-reaching, and that the requirements to reduce coal-fired power generation would be too costly.

“They’ve picked up a shotgun and pointed it at the heart of the American economy, our power generation,” Texas Republican Pete Olson said, according to The Hill.

The Obama administration threatened earlier in the week to veto Whitfield’s bill, calling it “premature and unnecessary”.

The EPA has yet to finalise the Clean Power Plan, a key element of the US strategy to meet its UN pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025, but it is clear that Obama will face opposition every step of the way.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence on Wednesday wrote a letter to the president, saying his state would not comply with the plan unless changes were made.

“If your administration proceeds to finalize the Clean Power Plan, and the final rule has not demonstrably and significantly improved from the proposed rule, Indiana will not comply. Our state will also reserve the right to use any legal means available to block the rule from being implemented,” Pence wrote.

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