U.S. Senate declares war on Obama climate change regulations with two resolution passed on Tuesday blocking two of the most powerful regulations designed under President Obama’s administration.
President Obama has a unique vue on climate change and the role the United States should play in the midst of this pressing issue. Assuming a leadership role for the United States in the effort of drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions has drawn serious enmities from the U.S. Congress.
Now in an attempt to undermine the United States’ negotiating position in the upcoming UNFCCC COP21 kicking off in Paris on November 29th, the U.S. Senate declares war on Obama climate change regulation.
One of the resolutions passed on Tuesday with 52 votes in favor and 46 against looks to scuttle one Environmental Protection Agency rule addressing a 32 percent cut in carbon emissions from coal-powered power plants in the U.S. Released in August, the rule is hailed as the centerpiece of the Obama administration efforts on contributing to climate change mitigation.
The second resolution passed by the U.S. Senate also with 52 votes in favor and 46 against targets another Environmental Protection Agency rule stating that no further coal-powered power plants will be constructed on the territory of the United States.
In a strange shift of position three Democrats, Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana – all three major coal industry based states – have voted for the resolutions against party lines.
On the other hand, three moderate Republicans also broke from party lines voting against the U.S. Senate resolutions. President Obama declared that if these resolution reach the presidential desk, they will be vetoed. Likely, the U.S. Congress cannot gather a majority withstanding the veto. White House officials have declared that the resolutions put an unnecessary and untimely break on efforts to curb carbon pollution.
Used as a chip to discredit the negotiations about to begin in the capital of France on November 29th, the resolutions were a must according to Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader.
While belittling the impact of the Environmental Protection Agency rules on carbon emissions to a ‘rounding error’, the Republican Senate Majority Leader argued their effects on coal miners and all those working in the industry will be devastating.
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