Friday, July 25, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Obama’s boldest move on carbon comes with perils

By
From page A6 | June 01, 2014 |

WASHINGTON — The new pollution rule the Obama administration announces Monday will be a cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s environmental legacy and arguably the most significant U.S. environmental regulation in decades.

But it’s not one the White House wanted.

As with other issues, the regulation to limit the pollution blamed for global warming from power plants is a compromise for Obama, who again finds himself caught between his aspirations and what is politically and legally possible.

It will provoke a messy and drawn-out fight with states and companies that produce electricity, and may not be settled until the eve of the next presidential election in 2016, or beyond.

“It’s going to be like eating spaghetti with a spoon. It can be done, but it’s going to be messy and slow,” said Michael Gerrard, director of the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University.

At the crux of the problem is Obama’s use of a 1970 law that was not intended to regulate the gases blamed for global warming. Obama was forced to rely on the Clean Air Act after he tried and failed to get Congress to pass a new law during his first term. When the Republicans took over the House, the goal became impossible.

The new rule, as the president described it in a news conference in 2010, is another way of “skinning the cat” on climate change.

“For anybody who cares about this issue, this is it,” Heather Zichal, Obama’s former energy and climate adviser, said in an interview with The Associated Press. “This is all the president has in his toolbox.”

The rule will tap executive powers to tackle the single largest source of the pollution blamed for heating the planet: carbon dioxide emitted from power plants. They produce about 40 percent of the electricity in the nation and about one-third of the carbon pollution that makes the U.S. the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

“There are no national limits to the amount of carbon pollution that existing plants can pump into the air we breathe. None,” Obama said Saturday in his weekly radio and Internet address.

“We limit the amount of toxic chemicals like mercury, sulfur, and arsenic that power plants put in our air and water. But they can dump unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into the air. It’s not smart, it’s not safe, and it doesn’t make sense,” he said.

While Obama has made major reductions in carbon pollution from cars and trucks by increasing fuel efficiency, manufacturers cooperated after an $85 billion government bailout.

His rule requiring new power plants to capture some of their carbon dioxide and bury it underground, while significant, has little real-world impact because few new coal plants are expected to be built due to market conditions.

Both those rules also prescribed technological fixes or equipment to be placed on the automobile or power plant.

The rule released Monday, though, would allow states to require power plants to make changes such as switching from coal to natural gas or enact other programs to reduce demand for electricity and produce more energy from renewable sources.

They also can set up pollution-trading markets as 10 other states already have done to offer more flexibility in how plants cut emissions. Plans from states won’t be due until 2016, but the rule will become final a year before.

That hasn’t stopped the hoopla over the proposal.

Some Democrats worried about re-elections have asked the White House, along with Republicans, to double the length of the rule-making comment period, until after this November’s elections.

The Chamber of Commerce said the rule would cost $50 billion to the economy and kill jobs. Harvard University said the regulation wouldn’t just reduce carbon but also would have a beneficial side effect: cleansing the air of other pollutants.

Environmental groups, meanwhile, are taking credit for helping shape it and arguing it would create jobs, not eliminate them.

Rep. Nick Rahall, a Democrat from West Virginia, which gets 96 percent of its power from coal, said Thursday that while he didn’t have the details, “from everything we know we can be sure of this: It will be bad for jobs.” Rahall faces a difficult re-election in November.

Obama said such pessimistic views are wrong.

“Now, special interests and their allies in Congress will claim that these guidelines will kill jobs and crush the economy,” Obama said in his address. “Let’s face it, that’s what they always say.”

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy and other government officials have promoted the proposal’s flexibility as way to both cut emissions and ensure affordable electricity. But that flexibility could backfire.

Some states, particularly those heavily reliant on fossil fuels, could resist taking action, leading the federal government to take over the program. That happened in Texas when it initially refused to issue greenhouse gas permits through another air pollution program.

Lawyers for states and industry also are likely to argue that controls far afield of the power plant violate the law’s intent.

The rule probably would push utilities to rely more on natural gas because coal emits about twice as much carbon dioxide. The recent oil and gas drilling boom in the U.S. has helped lower natural gas prices and, by extension, electricity prices. But it still generally is cheaper to generate power with coal than with natural gas. Also, natural gas prices are volatile and can lead to fluctuations in power prices.

The rule will push the U.S. closer to the 17 percent reduction by 2020 it promised other countries at the start of Obama’s presidency, it will fall far short of the global reductions scientists say are needed to stabilize the planet’s temperature. That’s because U.S. fossil-fueled power plants account for 6 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
CSP Solano inmates make music for rehabilitation

By Krissi Khokhobashvili | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

Big Chuckllz, fellow comics want to keep Fairfield laughing

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Holly Stell ready for new adventure, plans Sunday concert

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Solano actors join forces for new single, ‘Groove Me’

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Organizers seek riders, volunteers for Ride to Defeat Diabetes

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Friday concerts begin Aug. 1 at Solano Town Center

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B3

 
Bay Stage filled with entertainment at Solano County Fair

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B3

 
 
Bay Area’s air district issues Spare the Air alert

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

 
Assembly candidate Henthorn to appear at GOP dinner

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5

 
Fairfield police log: July 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Daily Republic seeks good news for column

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A12, 22 Comments

 
.

US / World

Judge argues for return of firing squad executions

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 8 Comments

 
California removes lane splitting guidelines

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 3 Comments

Execution offers evidence against lethal injection

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Outcry saves rare redwood from being chopped down

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

California man gets 4 years in counterfeit case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
SF professor charged with taping students in bathroom

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California wine collector set for sentencing on fraud charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
 
Obama wants limits on US company mergers abroad

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Toxic algae closes Oakland’s Lake Temescal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
House panel clears way for vote on Obama lawsuit

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Feds cap fines for not buying health insurance

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
House, Senate chairs offer competing bills on VA

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 2 Comments

Doctor fired back at gunman in hospital attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

 
Social Security’s $300M IT project doesn’t work

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

More US girls now getting cervical cancer vaccine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Storm slams Virginia campground; 2 dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Ukrainian prime minister announces resignation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
UN school in Gaza caught in cross-fire; 15 killed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Air Algerie jet with 116 on board crashes in Mali

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Very bad week: Airline disasters come in a cluster

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Islamic militants seize part of Syrian army base

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Iraq elects new president as attacks kill dozens

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

As inmate died, lawyers debated if he was in pain

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

 
.

Opinion

Call for tech diversity misplaced

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11

 
Is parenting being criminalized in America?

By Ben Boychuk and Joel Mathis | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
Coyote epidemic in Fairfield

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 10 Comments

Editorial Cartoons for July 25, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
.

Living

Today in History for July 25, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: July 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes for July 25, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
My siblings want friends to handle sale of our father’s house

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview July 25-31, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Review: Allen casts a limp spell in ‘Magic’

By Jake Coyle | From Page: B2

Review: ‘Lucy’ won’t stretch your brain capacity

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Robert Downey Jr. open to returning for ‘Iron Man 4’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Will Ferrell and Adam McKay to go wild with ‘Manimal’ movie

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: B2

Kiss, Usher, J.Lo to perform at Fashion Rocks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Pop star Azalea talking fashion on MTV

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Jon Bon Jovi to be honored for humanitarian work

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Malkovich, Cumberbatch make Comic-Con premieres

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Entertainment calendar July 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Stonestreet: Acceptance will grow for gay athletes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Sports

Moss powers A’s past Astros

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Eagles soar past Expos in Area 1 tourney

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7

Hudson solid, Hammels better in Giants’ loss to Phillies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Indians win 14-8 over Mudcats

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B7

49ers’ Smith plans to meet soon with Commissioner Goodell

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Pucker up! NASCAR returns to Brickyard

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Manning getting used to new faces on Broncos

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Raiders CB Hayden to start camp on PUP

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Nibali wins Stage 18, closes in on Tour victory

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Suspended WR Blackmon arrested on drug complaint

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Signups for Friday, July 25, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

 
Ravens RB Rice receives 2-game suspension from NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Lynch expected to hold out from Seahawks camp

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Putnam, Petrovic share Canadian Open lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

AP source: Gordon to meet with league Aug. 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Langer leads British Senior by 2 after 1st round

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Taiwan sweeps US in 1st day of International Crown

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
A’s Johnson designated for assignment

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

AP Source: NFL stadium sites explored in Toronto

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
2 Texas football players charged with sexual assault

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Cavs sign Wiggins, who can’t be traded for 30 days

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
This date in sports history for Friday, July 25, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

Sports on TV/Local sports for Friday, July 25, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B10

 
Weather for July 25, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B12

.

Business

LR4 is updated for fuel efficiency

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1

 
Ford’s green push

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: C2

Varying health premium subsidies worry consumers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Court throws out Chiquita terror payment claims

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Bombardier restructuring cuts 1,800 jobs globally

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

US new-home sales plummet in June

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Across US job market, layoffs are becoming rare

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

US unemployment aid applications drop to 284,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Dunkin’ pushing cashiers to ‘upsell’ in afternoons

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

.

Obituaries

Shirley T. ‘Mac’ McFadden

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 5 Comments

 
Nelson Max Allen

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
.

Solano County Fair 2014

Cultural exhibits, entertainment are fair highlights

By Solano County Fair | From Page: SCF2 | Gallery

Bay Stage talent competitions, nightly karaoke party

By Solano County Fair | From Page: SCF3

Jack & Bernice Newell Junior Livestock Auction returns to fair

By Solano County Fair | From Page: SCF4 | Gallery

Big names, big sounds grace fair stage

By Solano County Fair | From Page: SCF4 | Gallery

Bay Stage welcomes wide array of entertainers

By Solano County Fair | From Page: SCF15 | Gallery

Solano shines at fair’s County and Cities Expo

By Solano County Fair | From Page: SCF16