- President Obama has vetoed a pair of resolutions that would have blocked his signature environmental regulation, the Clean Power Plan, arguing that the rules are “a tremendously important step in the fight against global climate change."
- Earlier this month the U.S. House voted to pass two resolutions that were previously approved by the Senate, seeking to eliminate the new greenhouse gas limits while also sending a message of doubt over the causes of climate change during the recently-concluded Paris climate talks.
- The resolutions of disapproval would have blocked the Clean Power Plan, but the votes were largely symbolic as neither chamber came close to the 60% that would be necessary to override a veto, Argus reports.
Congressional Republicans continue to fight President Obama's environmental plan, but the resolutions to block the Clean Power Plan were mostly symbolic. House votes of 242-180 and 235-188 to pass the resolutions both showed a lack of support to override a veto, the same with the 52-46 votes taken in the Senate.
“The Clean Power Plan is a tremendously important step in the fight against global climate change,” Obama wrote in a statement rejecting the measures. Nullifying the CPP would not only threaten climate and energy progress, but would also eliminate public health and other benefits, estimated by the White House at up to $54 billion per year by 2030.
“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,” Obama wrote.
The historic legislation, which targets a 32% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, has set off a nationwide scrum with almost all states taking a stance on the controversial proposal. More than half of U.S. states have joined lawsuits opposing the law.
“Hardworking families cannot afford these crushing regulations that threaten jobs and affordable energy while doing little to actually improve the environment,” said U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), following the vote on the measures to strike down the Clean Power Plan “Sending these resolutions to the president’s desk is an important step in the fight against the harmful Clean Power Plan.”
Capito also said the vote showed that any international climate deal to come out of the recent talks in Paris “will be met with skepticism here at home.”
Obama used a "pocket veto" to reject the measures, refusing to act on the bills when Congress is out of session. The measure was returned to the Secretary of the Senate "to leave no doubt that the resolution is being vetoed," the White House said.