Obama Unveils Climate Change Plan

[Content Note: Climate change.]

Yesterday, President Obama unveiled what the New York Times' editorial board calls a "tough, achievable climate plan" and "unquestionably the most important step the administration has taken in the fight against climate change."
It imposes the first nationwide limits on carbon dioxide pollution from power plants, the source of 31 percent of America's total greenhouse gas emissions. It will shut down hundreds of coal-fired power plants and give fresh momentum to carbon-free energy sources like wind and solar power, and possibly next-generation nuclear plants. And when taken together with the administration’s other initiatives, chiefly the fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks, it reinforces Mr. Obama's credibility and leverage with other nations heading into the United Nations climate change conference in Paris in December.

...For more than a decade, carbon emissions from power plants have been declining — a result of a shift in energy generation from coal to cheap and abundant natural gas, regulation of other pollutants, like mercury, which has caused utilities to shut down older plants, and investments in cleaner fuels and energy efficiency.

Coal generation, which 10 years ago provided just over half the nation's electricity, last year provided 39 percent. Meanwhile, renewable energy sources like wind and solar power — driven by federal tax credits, improvements in technology and state mandates — have risen sharply in that time.

The new rules will codify and accelerate these trends, making sure that the shift to cleaner fuels continues quickly.
The editors also note that: "Hillary Rodham Clinton has said she supports the plan and will carry it out. Republicans are unanimously opposed." (See also.) Not only are Republican candidates opposed, but: "The plan's opponents in industry, the states and Congress are already gathering their forces to try to undermine it on Capitol Hill and in the courts, claiming that the plan will cost thousands of jobs, drive electricity prices through the roof and irreparably damage the economy. But the truth is this: There is nothing radical about it."

That makes no difference to opponents, who months after President Obama's 2013 State of the Union address, in which he vowed to act on climate change, began to meet to strategize an opposition strategy:
In the early months of 2014, a group of about 30 corporate lawyers, coal lobbyists and Republican political strategists began meeting regularly in the headquarters of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, often, according to some of the participants, in a conference room overlooking the White House. Their task was to start devising a legal strategy for dismantling the climate change regulations they feared were coming from President Obama.

...By the time Mr. Obama announced the regulations at the White House on Monday, the small group that had begun its work at the Chamber of Commerce had expanded into a vast network of lawyers and lobbyists ranging from state capitols to Capitol Hill, aided by Republican governors and congressional leaders. And their plan was to challenge Mr. Obama at every opportunity and take the fight against what, if enacted, would be one of his signature accomplishments to the Supreme Court.

Within minutes of the announcement, West Virginia's attorney general, Patrick Morrisey, stepped before a bank of cameras for a news conference at the Greenbrier resort in his home state. Flanked by Mike Duncan, the president of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, one of the nation's top coal lobbying groups, and Greg Zoeller, the attorney general of Indiana, Mr. Morrisey announced that a group of at least 15 Republican state attorneys general were preparing to jointly file a legal challenge to Mr. Obama's proposal.
Meanwhile, in the Senate: "Senate Majority Leader and coal industry advocate Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has vowed to use 'every possible tool at his disposal' to roll back or delay it, arguing the limits on carbon will spell death for the industry in his state and across the country. Already, McConnell and others have launched various campaigns to thwart the Clean Power Plan. The majority leader began telling individual states earlier this year to ignore the plan and refuse to comply with its requirements. He also warned other countries not to trust Obama's promise that the regulations would succeed, a tactic to undermine the president's international climate negotiations."

I don't even know what to say anymore. The Republican Party does not give a fuck about people. Not our health, not our survival, not anything about our lives at all. The only "people" they care about are corporations, and the only "health" they care about is the financial health of stockholders.

People often talk about—and rightly so—that the Republican Party hates government, but it's even worse than that: They hate human beings. We have zero value to them beyond however we can be exploited for more profits.

I've been accused of being cynical when I say that, but here is proof that Republicans don't even give a fuck about their own children and grandchildren. Even they aren't daft enough to believe that you can buy your way out of a catastrophic global climate crisis. They just don't care about anything but accumulating wealth and enriching the self in the here and now.

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