Sunday, December 20, 2015

Obama Vetoes Two GOP (+ Blue Dog) Climate Change Denial Bills


Last week when the Washington Post's Greg Sargent wrote that it was a good thing that the Republican presidential hopefuls are ignoring the Paris climate deal-- at their debates and at their campaign events-- it just highlighted further the GOP's inability and unwillingness to deal with reality. "[A] GOP president could do a great deal to undermine the climate deal. He could either declare that the U.S. won’t participate in it, or he could work through executive or legislative action to undermine Obama’s Clean Power Plan, whose carbon reduction efforts could be pivotal to the U.S. meeting its commitments as part of the deal."

The GOP candidates-- each of whom is just a perfect mashup of drug kingpin Martin Shkreli and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder-- had previously condemned the Clean Power Plan but then just moved on to yelling and screaming about terrorism. Republican condemnation of the Clean Power Plan is pretty much just standard GOP opposition to any regulations that protect consumers from the unbridled greed and avarice-- regardless of how sociopathic-- of corporate management.

On his way to Hawaii Saturday, Obama announced he wouldn't be signing a couple of crackpot Republican bills to gut the Clean Power Plan, something that is an integral part of American cooperation with the Paris climate change agreements. Not signing is a pocket veto, leaving it up to the Republicans to whine about it for the next year and for Republican media clowns to fulminate again congressional Republicans for not including it in the must-sign Omnibus or shutting down the government. Remember, there have also been several corrupt conservative fake Democrats-- primarily Blue Dogs and New Dems who don't face primaries-- who vote with the GOP on this. It's important to remember the names of DCCC darlings like these worthless assholes:
Nick Ashford (Blue Dog-NE)
Sanford Bishop (Blue Dog-GA)
André Carson (New Dem-IN)
Henry Cuellar (Blue Dog-TX)
Ann Kirkpatrick (New Dem-AZ)
Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN)
Terri Sewell (New Dem-AL)
Kyrsten Sinema (Blue Dog-AZ)
A note, don't start whining to me about how these wonderful Democrats are in deep red districts and that they would be defeated if they didn't vote with the Republicans. Sure, Terri Sewell's district is in Alabama but the PVI is D+20 and Obama scored 73% against Romney there. And, sure André Carson is in red, red Indiana, except his Indianapolis district has a PVI of D+13 and Obama routed Romney 63-35%. Even Green-turned-right-wing-nut Kyrsten Sinema, whose district is more swingy, saw Obama beat hometown hero John McCain 51-47% and then beat Romney by the exact same margin 4 years later. Another low-life Blue Dog in a solid Democratic district is the incredibly corrupt Henry Cuellar, with a D+7 district that gave Obama a 60-39% landslide over Romney. Ditto for Sanford Bishop-- a D+6 district that have Obama a 59-41% win over Romney. These Blue Dogs voted the way they do either because that's who they are and what they believe or because they're corrupt and on the take-- or both. Or maybe it's because they're in the wrong party because of one particular issue.

One of the pocket vetoes yesterday was for  S J RES 23 passed December 1, "providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of a rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency relating to “Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New, Modified, and Reconstructed Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units." There were even a couple of relatively mainstream conservative Republicans who couldn't bring themselves to vote for that suicide pact for humanity although, of course, a motley gaggle of Blue Dogs did.

In a statement yesterday, Obama was clear: "This resolution would nullify the Clean Power Plan, the first national standards to address climate-destabilizing greenhouse gas pollution from existing power plants. Accordingly, I am withholding my approval of this resolution."
Climate change poses a profound threat to our future and future generations. Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, a primary greenhouse gas, are higher than they have been in at least 800,000 years. In 2009, EPA determined that greenhouse gas pollution endangers Americans' health and welfare by causing long-lasting changes in the climate that can have, and are already having, a range of negative effects on human health, the climate, and the environment. We are already seeing the impacts of climate change, and established science confirms that we will experience stronger storms, deeper droughts, longer wildfire seasons, and other intensified impacts as the planet warms. The Pentagon has determined that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security.

The Clean Power Plan is a tremendously important step in the fight against global climate change. It is projected to reduce carbon pollution from power plants by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. It builds on progress States and the power sector are already making to move toward cleaner energy production, and gives States the time and flexibility they need to develop tailored, cost-effective plans to reduce their emissions. By nullifying the Clean Power Plan, S.J. Res. 24 not only threatens ongoing progress toward cleaner energy, but would also eliminate public health and other benefits of up to $54 billion per year by 2030, including thousands fewer premature deaths from air pollution and thousands fewer childhood asthma attacks each year.

The Clean Power Plan is essential in addressing the largest source of greenhouse gas pollution in our country. It is past time to act to mitigate climate impacts on American communities. Because the resolution would overturn the Clean Power Plan, which is critical to protecting against climate change and ensuring the health and well-being of our Nation, I cannot support it.

To leave no doubt that the resolution is being vetoed, in addition to withholding my signature, I am returning S.J. Res. 24 to the Secretary of the Senate, along with this Memorandum of Disapproval.
By the way, the Senate version of the vetoed resolution was not just voted for but also co-sponsored by Heidi Heitkamp, who, along with Joe Donnelly (IN) and Claire McCaskill (MO), votes with the GOP against progressive legislation more frequently than for anything remotely progressive. Are you a DSCC contributor (like Martin Shkreli)? In their last elections, this is what the DSCC spent to elect these 3 treacherous conservatives:
Heitkamp- $4,455,606 + another $3,285,252 from the mis-named Majority PAC
Donnelly- $4,221,504 + $4,444,840 from the Majority PAC
McCaskill- $3,862,547 + $3,711,835 from the Majority PAC
That's about $24 million in contributions to the DSCC spent to elect 3 grotesque conservatives who side with the Republicans on issues that probably made you contribute to the DSCC in the first place. If you feel offended by being tricked that way, just donate directly to progressive Senate candidates and not to the pack of vile conservative shills the DSCC is financing, like right-wing New Dems Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ) and Patrick Murphy (FL) and the NRA's favorite Democrat ever, Ted Strickland (OH).

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