Obama 'Climate Action Plan'
Republican leaders of the House Energy & Commerce Committee will hold a major hearing on climate change next month, asking Obama administration officials to testify about a proposed plan that has been bashed by the GOP as a job-killer.
Details of the Sept. 18 hearing, reported by the National Journal Wednesday night, comes just a week after the Environmental Protection Agency warned it would bypass Congress to move forward with a federal response.
President Obama's climate action plan, unveiled in June, has drawn biting criticism from Republicans, led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who blasted it as a "war on coal" and a "war on jobs."
Energy & Power Subcommittee Chairman, Kentucky Republican Ed Whitfield, who will preside over the hearing, sent out letters Aug. 6 inviting testimony from leaders of the EPA ; the departments of Agriculture, Defense, Energy, Health and Human Services, Interior, State, and Transportation; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the Commerce Department; NASA; the US Agency for International Development; the Export-Import Bank; and the White House Office of Science and Technology, the National Journal reported.
Whitfield wants each agency to explain how it devotes its time, money, and resources to climate-change policies -- and requests each official to include answers in written testimony.
Only the Defense Department had confirmed it will provide a witness, the Journal reported.
But it's the EPA's testimony that is the most anticipated.
EPA regulations are the center-piece of the Obama plan, and by the time the hearing opens, the agency will be just days away from announcing draft rules for controlling greenhouse-gas emissions from new power plants.
EPA chief Gina McCarthy said she's done waiting for Congress, and that the agency would bypass the legislative branch to develop a federal response if necessary.
"Essentially, [the president] said that it is time to act," she said in Boulder, CO, on Aug. 14.
"And he said he wasn't going to wait for Congress, but that he had administrative authorities and that it was time to start utilizing those more effectively and in a more concerted way."
When Obama announced his climate plan in June, he gave EPA a Sept. 20 deadline.
The hearing -- "The Obama Administration's Climate Change Policies and Activities" -- will touch on the science underpinning global climate change, the Journal reported.
The panel of scientific experts writing the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report it is at least 95 percent certain human activity -- primarily burning of fossil fuels -- is the biggest cause of global warming since the 1950s, according to a draft of the report...
In 2009, Congress rejected a bill to establish a cap-and-trade system designed to discourage greenhouse-gas emissions. That measure, known as the Waxman-Markey bill, passed the House but was defeated in the Senate at a time when Democrats controlled both houses.
Obama has come under fierce criticism from environmentalists faulting him for a lack of attention to global warming.
READ FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: 08/21/2013
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