Simple and clear.
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy spoke on a briefing call today about the rules her agency will announce on June 2 to fight global warming.
The new regulations will limit “coal-fired plants from spewing so much carbon into the atmosphere,” as Jonathan Cohn puts it, writing with verve for The New Republic.
Administrator McCarthy made three points:
1. This is about moving from climate risk to economic opportunity.
2. The proposed rules are “legally sound, solid and doable.”
3. It’s not one-size-fits-all. U.S. states will have flexibility in how to apply the rules.
That’s the way to do it. Simple and clear.
By talking today, she got out in front of the controversy already in full spin from people who oppose these measures.
They claim that stricter enforcement of Federal clean-air laws will cost jobs, endanger businesses and send homeowner electricity costs soaring.
Exhibit A, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has come out swinging: U.S. industry gears up to fight Obama’s climate rules
On the pro-climate action side, Cohn’s piece for The New Republic is a valuable Q&A on the issues.
Via The New Republic:
Conventional wisdom holds that second term presidencies rarely yield accomplishments and that this second term president, in particular, has lost the ability to get much done. In one week, President Obama has a chance to prove that the conventional wisdom is wrong.
And he can do it while helping to stop the planet from cooking.
On June 2, Obama will to unveil a new set of federal regulations on power plants, designed primarily to keep coal-fired plants from spewing so much carbon into the atmosphere. The hope is that these new regulations will slow down climate change—at first incrementally, by reducing emissions from existing plants in the U.S., and then more dramatically, by providing the Administration with more leverage to negotiate a far-reaching, international treaty on emissions from multiple sources.
I’m sensing a growing divide between businesses that align themselves with spokespersons on the anti-regulation side, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, or on the pro-climate action side, such as Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP) or the American Sustainable Business Council.
Sooner or later–I’m betting sooner–businesses will have to choose which side of the table–anti-regulation or pro-climate action–will best be able to represent and further their interests long-term.
I’m looking forward to that debate.