Newspaper article Roll Call

House Climate Hearing: The Real Story

Newspaper article Roll Call

House Climate Hearing: The Real Story

Article excerpt

Continuing their assault on Obama administration efforts to protect public health and fight climate change, House Republicans are staging a show-trial on Tuesday, giving voice to naysayers from around the country who are predicting doom and gloom.

Here's a reality check - what you won't hear when Rep. Edward Whitfield, R-Ky., convenes the subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee to denounce the alleged "unprecedented new regulatory authority" in the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed carbon pollution standards for power plants, announced in June.

You won't hear from the Republican majority, for instance, that the Clean Power Plan to cut dangerous carbon pollution has met an outpouring of support from mayors, governors and other elected officials around the country, businessmen, farm groups, electric utility executives and public health experts.

Just last week attorneys general from 11 states, from California to Maine, announced they would intervene in court to defend the rules on new and existing power plant emissions against a suit filed by West Virginia and other states.

The hearing won't mention that climate science denial has become an exclusive franchise of the right wing of the Republican party. Fresh scientific reports this year confirmed that heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels are driving the extreme weather that is already affecting many parts of the country. Polls show that a solid majority of Americans believe that human activity is causing climate change - and they want the government do something about it.

The Clean Power Plan aims to cut carbon pollution by 30 percent by 2030, compared to 2005, a less ambitious target than many environmentalists proposed. The plan sets targets according to each state's current energy mix, allows for regional trading arrangements, and gives states broad flexibility to meet the targets through reducing energy waste, cleaning up existing plants, and using renewables and other cleaner energy sources. …

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