Republicans pass, Democrats flunk energy industry’s congressional scorecard
WASHINGTON After days of heated negotiations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, both sides reached an agreement.
They agreed that they would bring a bill to the floor on Monday that would enact the Democrats’ package of energy and climate policy changes. The House is expected to vote on the bill Tuesday.
The Senate may also vote on the energy and climate bill on Monday.
In an extraordinary and public embrace of environmentalists, President Barack Obama signed an executive order Wednesday afternoon granting the government greater authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, automobiles and other sources.
It was the strongest signal yet that Obama was prepared to use the Environmental Protection Agency to curb carbon emissions, a climate-change policy that has become increasingly controversial. Obama offered no sign that he had backed away from the issue but did not say whether he would fight back in court.
In a victory for environmentalists, Obama said he approved an unprecedented change in the EPA’s authority to regulate carbon emissions, which power plants, cars and others are adding to the globe’s greenhouse gas emissions. The EPA will have new authority to set carbon limits on power plants, cars, trucks and locomotives. It will have new authority to regulate the emissions of coal-fired power plants and other natural gas-fired plants.
By law, the EPA has 10 years to implement the order, so it may not be in place by the time Washington goes to the polls.
But Obama said the EPA would go forward with regulatory changes “without delay. The regulations will be effective right away, and we will be able to get those regulations out to power plants and manufacturers without delay.” He called the order “an important step forward for the country.”
The executive order is the culmination of weeks of negotiations between the White House and congressional Democrats over the best way to respond to environmental concerns. Obama has resisted congressional attempts until now to pass legislation that would protect the U.S. from global warming. Obama has offered little in the way of details, but he has said that he hopes it will get