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Our 2015 Favorites

Here's a sampling of some of our favorite stories and content from 2015.

  • We call the Republicans' bluff to shut down DHS in order to deport 12 million people

  • Speaker Boehner (miss ya!) and House Republicans voted to repeal Obamacare - AGAIN. This reminds us of something...

  • We call out the 23 Congressional Republicans who joined the march in Selma... but refuse to co-sponsor the restoration of the Voting Rights Act

  • 47 Republican Senators signed a letter to Iran's leaders with the intention to derail nuclear discussions, so we (with some help from the nation's newspapers) wrote our own letter to those Senators.
  • Senator (and amateur presidential candidate) Rand Paul endears himself to women across America by shushing a female interviewer during an appearance on CNBC

  • Our friends at NextGen hit Scott Walker in his home state for being the ultimate Koch puppet
  • Our TV Ad, "Rare Incidents," exposing Big Oil's indifference to the frequency of oil spills on the 5 year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion
  • In the wake of yet another mass shooting in America, President Obama demands action on gun violence

  • We previewed the climate change fight of the summer - The Pope vs. The Kochs
  • Republican war hawks try to derail the Iran Nuclear Deal, and we hit the airwaves to stop them
  • #TBT to when these two kids were the best of friends.

  • Dick Cheney tells the folks at FOX News that he "was right about Iraq." People were shocked, but it was nothing new for Dick.
  • During a GOP Debate, Jeb Bush declares his brother "kept us safe" during his tenure as president. Um... no. (Jeb didn't like this ad. He responded himself.)
  • Scott Walker, union-buster and Koch Brothers darling, drops out of the race for president FIRST.

  • For some reason, Bill Kristol defended the Empire from Star Wars.

  • House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi demands Congress lift the ban on gun violence research.

  • Republicans haven't stopped their all-out, ignorant assault on climate science since our last installment of the #NotAScientist video series.

 

Happy New Year!

12.31.15 | permalink

GOP Attorneys General Against Clean Power Plan Have Taken $2.4 Million from Dirty Energy

 

The 23 Republicans Attorneys General publicly against the EPA’s Clean Power Plan are bought and paid for by big polluters. Over the last two election cycles, their campaigns have taken over $2.4 Million from the Dirty Energy Sector. [*Note: Selected dirty industries include: electric utilities, coal mining, mining services & equipment, non-metallic mining, and oil and gas.]

Alabama

Luther Strange (Republican)

 

Strange Received $234,950 From Dirty Energy. According to the National Institute of Money in State Politics, Luther Strange has received a total of $234,950 from dirty energy during the last two election cycles. Strange received $56,550 in 2010 and $178,400 in 2014. [National Institute of Money in State Politics, accessed 10/19/15]

Attorney General Strange Joined The Lawsuit To Overturn The Clean Power Plan Due To Misuse Of The Clean Air Act.  According to a press release by Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, “Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, leading a coalition of 15 state Attorneys General, today filed a petition asking a court to issue an emergency stay to postpone deadlines imposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan while its legality is determined by the courts. ‘This rule is the most far-reaching energy regulation in the nation’s history, and the EPA simply does not have the legal authority to carry it out,’ Attorney General Morrisey said. ‘With this rule, the EPA is attempting to transform itself from an environmental regulator to a central planning agency for states’ energy economies. The Clean Air Act was never intended to be used to create this type of regulatory regime, and it flies in the face of the powers granted to states under the U.S. Constitution. The petition was filed Thursday afternoon with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit by Attorneys General from the states of West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.’” [Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, 8/13/15]

 

Alabama Attorney General Strange: “The Environmental Protection Agency’s New Clean Power Plan Continues The Obama Administration’s Theme Of Ignoring The Legal Limits On Its Executive Authority In Order To Satisfy A Political Agenda That Places The Lowest Priority On The Rights Of Coal Industry Workers And American Consumers.” According to an article in Alabama.com, “Strange, who testified before Congress in opposition to the plan, said the rule would increase Alabamians’ electricity bills and ‘punish’ Alabamians whose jobs rely on the coal industry. ‘After years of propaganda efforts aimed at convincing Americans that they must sacrifice lower energy bills and jobs in order to meet arbitrary carbon emission goals, the Obama administration has finally unveiled its new energy mandate,’ Strange said in the news release. ‘The Environmental Protection Agency’s new Clean Power Plan continues the Obama administration’s theme of ignoring the legal limits on its executive authority in order to satisfy a political agenda that places the lowest priority on the rights of coal industry workers and American consumers.’” [Alabama.com, 8/3/15]

 

Strange: “EPA’s Proposal Attempts To Use The Clean Air Act To Override States’ Energy Policies And Impose A National Energy And Resource-Planning Policy That Picks Winners And Losers Based Solely On EPA’s Policy Choices, Forcing States To Favor Renewable Energy Sources And Demand-Reduction Measures Over Fossil Fuel-Fired Electric Production.” According to a comment submitted to the EPA on the Clean Power Plan and signed by Attorney General Strange, “On June 18, 2014, EPA proposed emission guidelines for carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants, invoking its authority under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act (‘CAA’), 42 U.S.C. § 7411(d). Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units, 79 Fed. Reg. 34,830 (June 18, 2014) (hereinafter ‘Proposal’). EPA’s proposal attempts to use the Clean Air Act to override states’ energy policies and impose a national energy and resource-planning policy that picks winners and losers based solely on EPA’s policy choices, forcing states to favor renewable energy sources and demand-reduction measures over fossil fuel-fired electric production. But the Clean Air Act generally and Section 111(d) specifically do not give EPA that breathtakingly broad authority to reorganize states’ economies. ‘Congress . . . does not, one might say, hide elephants in mouseholes.’ Whitman v. Am. Trucking Ass’ns, Inc., 531 U.S. 457, 468 (2001). Congress did not hide the authority to impose a national energy policy in the ‘mousehole’ of this obscure, little-used provision of the Clean Air Act, which EPA has only invoked five times in 40 years. The proposed rule has numerous legal defects, each of which provides an independent basis to invalidate the rule in its entirety.” [Comment by Attorneys General Submitted to the EPA on the Clean Power Plan, 11/24/14]

 

Attorney General Strange Joined A Federal Lawsuit Against The Clean Power Plan. According to a press release by Attorney General Luther Strange, “Attorney General Strange, who is one of nine Attorneys General to join a federal lawsuit against the Obama administration’s proposed new carbon rule, charged that the EPA is seeking to extend the scope of the Clean Water Act beyond the limits of the law. ‘Congress did not intend for the Clean Air Act section 111(d) to have such far-reaching consequences for the American people,’ AG Strange said. ‘Those consequences, moreover, would stem from a patently unlawful application of the Clean Air Act.’ ‘It would do so at the expense of State authority that is expressly identified and preserved in the Clean Air Act and in the unquestionable jurisdiction of States over intrastate electricity markets.’” [Attorney General Luther Strange, 7/29/14]

 

Strange Argued The Clean Power Plan Should Be Withdrawn, Stating, “In The Existing Source Rule, EPA Omitted For The Docket 84 Percent Of The Modeling Runs On Which It Relied In Crafting The Proposed Rule, Without Which The States And The Public Cannot Comment Meaningfully On The Proposal.” According to a letter written by Attorney General Strange concerning the Clean Power Plan, “In The Existing Source Rule and the Modified Sources Rule, EPA has repeated violated  Section 307’s unambiguous requirements: In the Existing Source Rule, EPA omitted for the docket 84 percent of the modeling runs on which it relied in crafting the proposed Rule, without which the States and the public cannot comment meaningfully on the proposal. Specifically, the docket does not include 21 out of 25 of the Integrated Planning Model modeling runs cover projections for 2016, 2018, 2020, 2025, and 2030. This information is critical to assessing EPA’s claims that States and industry will be able to comply with the four “building blocks” in the Proposed Existing Source Rule. The states need the modeling run data for sufficient analysis of what that data shows on a unit by unit and state by state basis.” [Letter to Gina McCarthy, 8/25/14]

 

Luther Strange, On The Clean Power Plan: “Given The Enormous Burdens That Would Be Imposed By The EPA Propose Guidelines So Ever. It May Be Obvious That EPA Has Simply Disregarded The Limits Of The Law.” According to testimony given to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works by Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, “ The defense of this proposal will be that the states have quote, flexibility. Providing states with a narrow range of costly policy choices which most of the states did not choose for themselves does not provide any actual flexibility and still produces the same outcome, higher electricity prices and decrease generation. Repeating over and over again the word flexibility is not an adequate defense or an adequate answer to low-income consumers in my state or any other state for that matter who were asked why they must pay more to reduce CO2 emissions when those reductions cannot and will not impact the global climate. Congress did not intend it for the Clean Air Act Section 111D to have such a consequence with the American people. Indeed, to prevent impact such as those that will flow from EPA’s propose emission guidelines, congress took care to limit EPA authority under Section 111D. Given the enormous burdens that would be imposed by the EPA propose guidelines so ever. It may be obvious that EPA has simply disregarded the limits of the law. These limits more of are not questionable or controversial.” [Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, 6/18/14]

 

Luther Strange, On The Clean Power Plan: “The State Of Alabama Vigorously Opposes The EPA Proposed Mandate To Effectively Restructure The Electric Sector As It Would Have Disastrous Consequences For Electric Liability And The Economy.” According to testimony given to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works by Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, “In conclusion, the state of Alabama vigorously opposes the EPA proposed mandate to effectively restructure the electric sector as it would have disastrous consequences for electric liability and the economy. Those consequences moreover what all stem from a patently unlawful application of the Clean Air Act. EPA’s proposal seek to expand the scope of section 11D in an unprecedented manner and would do so at the expense of state authority that is expressly identified and preserved in the Clean Air Act and in the unquestionable jurisdiction of states over intrastate electricity markets. And finally, it would do all of these things for no discernible benefit given the increased conditions of tried and other developing economies. There’s no rationale that can support such regulation in this commission. Sure and sure that this in halted.” [Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, 6/18/14]

 

 

Arizona

 

Mark Brnovich (Republican)

Opposed

Brnovich Received $11,000 From Dirty Energy. According to the National Institute of Money in State Politics, Mark Brnovich received a total of $11,000 from dirty energy during the 2014 election cycle. [National Institute of Money in State Politics, accessed 10/19/15]

 

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich: “The President Is Using The EPA To Bypass Congress And To Force These Devastating Regulations Upon The States.” According to a press release in Real Estate Rama, “Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich today joined Attorneys General in 15 other states to request the EPA immediately stay Section 111(d) of the Obama administration’s finalized ‘Clean Power Plan.’ A stay is a legal procedure that will ensure Arizonans will not be forced to suffer serious harm until the courts have had an opportunity to review the rule’s legality. ‘The EPA doesn’t have the legal authority to issue these mandates,’ said Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich. ‘A stay will help protect Arizonans from increased energy prices and will preserve jobs as the final rule is challenged in court.’ Attorney General Brnovich and 15 other Attorneys General believe the ‘Clean Power Plan’ is fundamentally flawed and unlawful. The coalition is asking the EPA to take action on this stay request by 4 p.m. EST August 07, 2015. Brnovich added, ‘The president is using the EPA to bypass Congress and to force these devastating regulations upon the states.’” [Real Estate Rama, 8/6/15]

 

Brnovich: “These Proposed EPA Rules Are An Affront To The Law.” According to a comment by Mark Brnovich on EPA carbon rules, “The Clean Air Act was intended to be a model of cooperative federalism in which states and their locally elected officials take the lead in enacting state-specific regulations and standards. Flexibility should be a hallmark. Instead, these proposed EPA rules are an affront to the law and further illustration of the Obama Administration’s contempt for its co-equal branch of government – Congress – and disdain for the very states from which the federal government derives its power.” [Comments on EPA’s Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources; Electric Utility Generating Units; Proposed Rule, 9/10/14]

 

Brnovich: “I Oppose Heavy-Handed Regulatory Efforts Such As The EPA Clean Power Plan, Which Would Reap Minimal Air Quality Benefits While Erecting A Cumbersome New Regulatory Scheme.” According to a comment by Mark Brnovich on EPA carbon rules, “First, as a husband and father, I support clean air and recognize the importance of the environment to public health and families like mine. But I oppose heavy-handed regulatory efforts such as the EPA Clean Power Plan, which would reap minimal air quality benefits while erecting a cumbersome new regulatory scheme and imposing massive additional costs upon consumers and utilities. The EPA itself estimates these regulations would drive up electricity rates nationwide, and annual compliance costs are expected to run into the billions of dollars. Consumers, of course, would bear the brunt of these costs – killing jobs and creating a further drag on the economy at a time when our country and my state can least afford it.” [Comments on EPA’s Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources; Electric Utility Generating Units; Proposed Rule, 9/10/14]

 

Brnovich: “As An Attorney And The Republican Nominee For Arizona Attorney General, I Believe The EPA Has Exceeded Its Authority With These Proposed Regulations Under The Clean Air Act.” According to a comment by Mark Brnovich on EPA carbon rules, “As an attorney and the Republican nominee for Arizona Attorney General, I believe the EPA has exceeded its authority with these proposed regulations. Under the Clean Air Act, Congress purposefully vested power in the states to design pollution-reduction plans and establish performance standards. The EPA may require states to submit plans with standards, and may even prescribe procedures to be followed. But the EPA cannot dictate these requirements from afar and is barred from mandating that states enact emissions standards so stringent they force the phase-out of still-viable power plants.” [Comments on EPA’s Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources; Electric Utility Generating Units; Proposed Rule, 9/10/14]

 

Brnovich Said He Would Sue EPA Over Carbon Rules If Elected Attorney General. According to an article in the Arizona Republic, “Arizona is not one of the 12 states suing the EPA regarding the agency’s plan to reduce carbon emissions from power plants, but that’s likely to change after the election. Both major party candidates for Attorney General in Arizona said they will sue the Environmental Protection Agency over the rules if elected and if the requirements for Arizona aren’t amended Both candidates said a legal challenge was winnable. ‘The legal challenge to these proposed regulations has merit,’ Brnovich said. ‘Arizona’s only ability to defend itself against this kind of federal heavy-handedness is by fighting on all fronts, including the courtroom, if necessary.’” [Arizona Republic, 9/19/14]

 

Arkansas

 

Leslie Rutledge (Republican)

Opposed

Rutledge Received $31,375 From Dirty Energy. According to the National Institute of Money in State Politics, Leslie Rutledge received a total of $31,375 from dirty energy during the 2014 election cycle. [National Institute of Money in State Politics, accessed 10/19/15]

 

Attorney General Rutledge Joined The Lawsuit To Overturn The Clean Power Plan Due To Misuse Of The Clean Air Act.  According to a press release by Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, “Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, leading a coalition of 15 state Attorneys General, today filed a petition asking a court to issue an emergency stay to postpone deadlines imposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan while its legality is determined by the courts. ‘This rule is the most far-reaching energy regulation in the nation’s history, and the EPA simply does not have the legal authority to carry it out,’ Attorney General Morrisey said. ‘With this rule, the EPA is attempting to transform itself from an environmental regulator to a central planning agency for states’ energy economies. The Clean Air Act was never intended to be used to create this type of regulatory regime, and it flies in the face of the powers granted to states under the U.S. Constitution. The petition was filed Thursday afternoon with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit by Attorneys General from the states of West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.’” [Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, 8/13/15]

 

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge: “My Office Continues To Review The Unlawful Clean Power Plan And Is Prepared To Take Any And All Appropriate Legal Action To Prevent Its Implementation.” According to a press release, “Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released a statement following the announcement from President Barack Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the final Clean Power Plan. The Clean Power Plan seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through implementation of section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act. ‘Today, the EPA has once again decided to move forward with a plan that goes beyond the rule of law,’ said Attorney General Rutledge. ‘Let me be clear. I favor clean air and will do everything I can to preserve it for future generations, but an out-of-touch plan that proposes even deeper cuts than the original 2014 version is not a balanced approach. In 2013, Arkansas received over half of its electricity from coal-fired power plants, and if this plan is fully implemented, Arkansas rate payers will certainly see their energy rates increase. The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, the Arkansas Public Service Commission and other State stakeholders are in a much better position to protect the State’s clean air. Today’s plan is simply the wrong direction and completely ignores the concerns that have been raised over the past several years about anticipated cost increases. My office continues to review the unlawful Clean Power Plan and is prepared to take any and all appropriate legal action to prevent its implementation.’” [Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, 8/3/15]

 

Rutledge Applauded Efforts To Sue EPA Over Carbon Rules. According to a press release, “Former prosecutor and Republican nominee for Attorney General Leslie Rutledge applauds the efforts of twelve states currently challenging proposed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules which will ultimately drive up rates paid by residential electricity consumers in Arkansas. ‘The EPA’s overreaching regulations will not only harm Arkansas ratepayers but inhibit Arkansas’ ability to attract more jobs and industry to the state,’ said Rutledge.” [Leslie Rutledge for Attorney General, Press Release, 8/5/14]

 

Governor Hutchinson Said He Would Ask Attorney General To Join Lawsuit Over EPA Regulations. According to an article in the Arkansas News, “Republican candidate for governor Asa Hutchinson said Monday that if elected he will ask the state attorney general to join a multi-state lawsuit challenging proposed federal regulations on carbon dioxide emissions. Hutchinson’s Democratic opponent, Mike Ross, issued a statement saying he has pledged to do everything in his power to fight overreach by the Environmental Protection Agency and chiding Hutchinson for ‘finally’ commenting on the issue.” [Arkansas News, 8/4/14]

 

Rutledge: “As Attorney General, I Will Be On The Front Lines Of These Efforts… Including Filing Suit Against The Federal Government When Necessary.” According to an article in Arkansas News, “Republican candidate for attorney general Leslie Rutledge said in a statement…‘My hope is that Attorney General McDaniel will join this lawsuit to defend Arkansans. As attorney general, I will be on the front lines of these efforts and use every legal means at my disposal, including filing suit against the federal government when necessary, to combat the overreach of the Obama administration which is once again overstepping its authority and hurting Arkansans.’” [Arkansas News, 8/4/14]

 

 

Colorado

 

Cynthia Coffman (Republican)

Opposed

Coffman Received $22,828 From Dirty Energy. According to the National Institute of Money in State Politics, Cynthia Coffman received a total of $22,828 from dirty energy during the 2014 election cycle. [National Institute of Money in State Politics, accessed 10/19/15]

Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, A Republican, Planned To Join Other States In The Eventual Legal Challenge To EPA's Power Plant Carbon Rules. According to an article in Politico, “Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, a Republican, plans to join other states in the eventual legal challenge to EPA’s power plant carbon rules. ‘The face of Colorado’s economy could be forever changed and that will be reflected in lost jobs, higher utility rates, and an altered energy industry,’ Coffman said, adding that ‘before untold sums of public and private monies are spent on compliance with the Clean Power Plan, we need to settle the matter of whether it is even legal.’ Coffman’s stance is in contrast with the position of Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, who is working on compliance plans and says the rule offers Colorado an ‘opportunity’ to cut back on pollutants while potentially growing the state’s booming natural gas sector. Colorado will join the lawsuit filed once EPA eventually publishes the rule in the Federal Register.” [Politico, 8/31/15]

 

Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman: “As I Put The Best Interests Of Colorado First, It May Become Necessary To Join Other States In Challenging President Obama’s Authority Under The Clean Air Act.” According to an article in the Denver Post, “Colorado may fight the Clean Power Plan that President Obama unveiled Monday. Attorney General Cynthia Coffman said the plan ‘raises significant concerns for Colorado’ and that she’s considering joining other states in a legal challenge. Citing concerns about potential job losses and an unrealistic set of goals and timelines, Coffman said in an e-mail she will ‘ carefully review the EPA’s plan and evaluate its long term consequences for our state.’ ‘But as I put the best interests of Colorado first, it may become necessary to join other states in challenging President Obama’s authority under the Clean Air Act.’” [Denver Post, 8/3/15]

 

Coffman: “I Will Take The Legal Steps Necessary To Protect Ratepayers And Safeguard Energy Jobs In Instances Where The EPA Oversteps Its Congressionally-Mandated Bounds.” According to her campaign website, “The federal Environmental Protection Agency passed over 100 new rules and regulations in 2012 alone. Clean air and water are of critical importance to Colorado; however, the EPA’s seemingly unfettered discretion in passing costly rules will continue to negatively impact job creation and energy costs in our state. As Attorney General, I will take the legal steps necessary to protect ratepayers and safeguard energy jobs in instances where the EPA oversteps its congressionally-mandated bounds.” [Cynthia Coffman for Attorney General, Issues, accessed 11/11/14]

 

Coffman Is The Wife Of US Representative Mike Coffman. According to her campaign website, “Cynthia is married to Colorado U.S. Representative Mike Coffman.” [Cynthia Coffman for Attorney General, Cynthia, accessed 11/11/14]

 

  • Mike Coffman: “There Is No Question That Climate Change Is Real And Has Existed Since The Beginning Of Time…The Role That Carbon Emissions, From Human Activity, Have On Climate Change Is Still A Subject Of Debate.” According to his Congressional website, “There is no question that climate change is real and has existed since the beginning of time, and will always be a factor that can negatively impact our environment. The role that carbon emissions, from human activity, have on climate change is still a subject of debate. But what is clear is that we should do all that we can to reduce carbon emissions in order to improve the quality of our environment. However, we should do so under a balanced approach that considers the economic impact of the rate at which we reduce our carbon emissions.” [Congressman Mike Coffman, Issues, Climate Change, accessed 2/6/14]

 

  • Mike Coffman Voted For The Stop War On Coal Act To Overturn And Prevent EPA Regulation Of Greenhouse Gas Emissions. On September 21, 2012, Congressman Coffman voted in favor of the Stop the War on Coal Act of 2012. According to an article in The Hill, “The House approved a bill Friday morning that would significantly deregulate the coal industry, in a vote that was the last legislative act of the House before the November election… The legislation is a combination of five bills that would overturn or prevent an array of regulations that Republicans say would harm the coal industry and the economy. Among other things, it would block the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and other sources, and prevent rules on the storage and disposal of coal ash and limit Clean Water Act rules.” The bill passed the house 233-175. [United States House of Representatives, Roll Call #603, 9/21/12;The Hill, 9/21/12]

 

2014: Coffman Received $1,300 From Electric Utilities And Coal Mining. According to the Institute on Money in State Politics, Cynthia Coffman received $1,300 in contributions from electric utilities and coal mining in 2014. [Institute on Money in State Politics, Contributions from Electric Utilities and Coal Mining to Cynthia Coffman, accessed 11/13/14]

 

Florida

 

Pam Bondi (Republican)

Opposed

Bondi Received $24,850 From Dirty Energy. According to the National Institute of Money in State Politics, Pam Bondi has received a total of $24,850 from dirty energy during the last two election cycles. Bondi received $11,350 in 2010 and $13,500 in 2014. [National Institute of Money in State Politics, accessed 10/19/15]

 

Attorney General Bondi Joined The Lawsuit To Overturn The Clean Power Plan Due To Misuse Of The Clean Air Act.  According to a press release by Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, “Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, leading a coalition of 15 state Attorneys General, today filed a petition asking a court to issue an emergency stay to postpone deadlines imposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan while its legality is determined by the courts. ‘This rule is the most far-reaching energy regulation in the nation’s history, and the EPA simply does not have the legal authority to carry it out,’ Attorney General Morrisey said. ‘With this rule, the EPA is attempting to transform itself from an environmental regulator to a central planning agency for states’ energy economies. The Clean Air Act was never intended to be used to create this type of regulatory regime, and it flies in the face of the powers granted to states under the U.S. Constitution. The petition was filed Thursday afternoon with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit by Attorneys General from the states of West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.’” [Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, 8/13/15]

 

Florida Attorney General Bondi: “We Will Not Step Aside While The EPA, Through Heavy-Handed Federal Overreach, Threatens To Upend A System That The EPA Has Approved Multiple Times And Has Provided A Consistent, Reliable Framework.” According to an article in Bloomberg, “‘We will not step aside while the EPA, through heavy-handed federal overreach, threatens to upend a system that the EPA has approved multiple times and has provided a consistent, reliable framework’ Bondi said Tuesday in a statement. Among the states challenging the rule are Arizona, Georgia, Missouri, Ohio and West Virginia.” [Bloomberg, 8/11/15]

 

Bondi: “EPA’s Proposal Attempts To Use The Clean Air Act To Override States’ Energy Policies And Impose A National Energy And Resource-Planning Policy That Picks Winners And Losers Based Solely On EPA’s Policy Choices, Forcing States To Favor Renewable Energy Sources And Demand-Reduction Measures Over Fossil Fuel-Fired Electric Production.” According to a comment submitted to the EPA on the Clean Power Plan and signed by Attorney General Bondi, “On June 18, 2014, EPA proposed emission guidelines for carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants, invoking its authority under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act (‘CAA’), 42 U.S.C. § 7411(d). Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units, 79 Fed. Reg. 34,830 (June 18, 2014) (hereinafter ‘Proposal’). EPA’s proposal attempts to use the Clean Air Act to override states’ energy policies and impose a national energy and resource-planning policy that picks winners and losers based solely on EPA’s policy choices, forcing states to favor renewable energy sources and demand-reduction measures over fossil fuel-fired electric production. But the Clean Air Act generally and Section 111(d) specifically do not give EPA that breathtakingly broad authority to reorganize states’ economies. ‘Congress . . . does not, one might say, hide elephants in mouseholes.’ Whitman v. Am. Trucking Ass’ns, Inc., 531 U.S. 457, 468 (2001). Congress did not hide the authority to impose a national energy policy in the ‘mousehole’ of this obscure, little-used provision of the Clean Air Act, which EPA has only invoked five times in 40 years. The proposed rule has numerous legal defects, each of which provides an independent basis to invalidate the rule in its entirety.” [Comment by Attorneys General Submitted to the EPA on the Clean Power Plan, 11/24/14]

 

In 2011, Pam Bondi Challenged An EPA Rule Related To Cross-State Air Pollution And Called It ‘Costly’ And ‘Based On A Flawed Process.’  According to an article in Watchdog.org, “A spokesman for the Florida attorney general’s office confirmed to Watchdog.org the state is already involved in litigation over a previous EPA air pollution rule. The spokesman wouldn’t say whether Attorney General Pam Bondi will take on the new federal edict. In 2011, Florida joined six states to challenge an EPA rule aimed at curbing the ‘interstate transport of fine particular matter.’ Bondi called it ‘costly’ and ‘based on a flawed process.’ Bondi also cited a disproportionately required reduction in Florida’s emissions compared to other states. The same appears to be true with the new EPA proposal. Nationwide, the Clean Power Plan requires a 30 percent total reduction in carbon emissions.” [Watchdog, 6/5/14]

 

Georgia

 

Sam Olens (Republican)

Opposed

 

Olens Received $43,925 From Dirty Energy. According to the National Institute of Money in State Politics, Samuel Olens has received a total of $43,925 from dirty energy during the last two election cycles. Olens received $17,775 in 2010 and 26,150 in 2014. [National Institute of Money in State Politics, accessed 10/19/15]

 

Olens: “EPA’s Proposal Attempts To Use The Clean Air Act To Override States’ Energy Policies And Impose A National Energy And Resource-Planning Policy That Picks Winners And Losers Based Solely On EPA’s Policy Choices, Forcing States To Favor Renewable Energy Sources And Demand-Reduction Measures Over Fossil Fuel-Fired Electric Production.” According to a comment submitted to the EPA on the Clean Power Plan and signed by Attorney General Olens,  “On June 18, 2014, EPA proposed emission guidelines for carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants, invoking its authority under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act (‘CAA’), 42 U.S.C. § 7411(d). Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units, 79 Fed. Reg. 34,830 (June 18, 2014) (hereinafter ‘Proposal’). EPA’s proposal attempts to use the Clean Air Act to override states’ energy policies and impose a national energy and resource-planning policy that picks winners and losers based solely on EPA’s policy choices, forcing states to favor renewable energy sources and demand-reduction measures over fossil fuel-fired electric production. But the Clean Air Act generally and Section 111(d) specifically do not give EPA that breathtakingly broad authority to reorganize states’ economies. ‘Congress . . . does not, one might say, hide elephants in mouseholes.’ Whitman v. Am. Trucking Ass’ns, Inc., 531 U.S. 457, 468 (2001). Congress did not hide the authority to impose a national energy policy in the ‘mousehole’ of this obscure, little-used provision of the Clean Air Act, which EPA has only invoked five times in 40 years. The proposed rule has numerous legal defects, each of which provides an independent basis to invalidate the rule in its entirety.” [Comment by Attorneys General Submitted to the EPA on the Clean Power Plan, 11/24/14]

 

2011: Sam Olens Filed An Amicus Brief Supporting Power Companies In The Supreme Court Case American Electric Power Co. V. Connecticut, Arguing That Carbon Dioxide “Cannot Be Regulated Through Litigation.” According to a press release by Attorney General Sam Olens, “Attorney General Sam Olens released the following statement applauding the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in American Electric Power Co. v. Connecticut striking down the plaintiffs’ attempt to advance their climate change agenda through the judicial process: ‘I am pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court agreed with the arguments in our Amicus Brief, which Georgia filed with 22 other states[1], that carbon dioxide cannot be regulated through litigation. By ruling against the plaintiffs in American Electric Power Co. v. Connecticut, the Court affirmed that policy should not be decided by the courts, especially in a highly charged political debate like climate change. Instead, the policy making process will be left to our elected officials, who are held accountable by the voters.’” [Attorney General Sam Olens Website, 6/20/11]

 

2005: Sam Olens: Despite Concerns With Ozone Rule Implementation… “We Also Acknowledge That These Standards Are Based On Good Science And Health Data And Are In Place For A Reason And, As Such, Need To Be Addressed In A Timely Manner.” According to a congressional testimony given by Attorney General Sam Olens, “There has been a great deal of concern expressed related to implementation of the new ozone and particulate matter standards, in particular that the deadlines to meet the standards are too short and that the Clean Air Act should be amended to provide more time to attain. These concerns become even greater in the context of the current review and potential tightening of the particulate matter standard that is only now at the beginning stages of implementation. The ARC shares many of the concerns, as implementation of new standards will always require a change to our process, additional (and often significant) resource expenditures, and additional complexity to an already complicated transportation planning process. However, while we recognize that there are tough air quality standards in place and that they do have a considerable impact on the planning process, we also acknowledge that these standards are based on good science and health data and are in place for a reason and, as such, need to be addressed in a timely manner.” [Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate Change, and Nuclear Safety Testimony, 11/10/05]

 

 

Indiana

 

Greg Zoeller (Republican)

Opposed

Zoeller Received $28,200 From Dirty Energy. According to the National Institute of Money in State Politics, Greg Zoeller received a total of $28,200 from dirty energy during the last two election cycles. Zoeller received $15,200 in 2012 and $13,000 in 2008. [National Institute of Money in State Politics, accessed 10/19/15]

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller: “It Goes Far Beyond What Congress Has Authorized.” According to an article on WCHS, “‘It goes far beyond what Congress has authorized,’ said Greg Zoeller, who is Indiana’s Attorney General... ‘This is really the states asking the Judiciary to look and see, whether the EPA has again exceeded its authority under what Congress allows,’ said Zoeller.” [WCHS-TV, 8/3/15]

 

Attorney General Zoeller Joined The Lawsuit To Overturn The Clean Power Plan Due To Misuse Of The Clean Air Act.  According to a press release by Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, “Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, leading a coalition of 15 state Attorneys General, today filed a petition asking a court to issue an emergency stay to postpone deadlines imposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan while its legality is determined by the courts. ‘This rule is the most far-reaching energy regulation in the nation’s history, and the EPA simply does not have the legal authority to carry it out,’ Attorney General Morrisey said. ‘With this rule, the EPA is attempting to transform itself from an environmental regulator to a central planning agency for states’ energy economies. The Clean Air Act was never intended to be used to create this type of regulatory regime, and it flies in the face of the powers granted to states under the U.S. Constitution. The petition was filed Thursday afternoon with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit by Attorneys General from the states of West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.’” [Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, 8/13/15]

 

Zoeller: “EPA’s Proposal Attempts To Use The Clean Air Act To Override States’ Energy Policies And Impose A National Energy And Resource-Planning Policy That Picks Winners And Losers Based Solely On EPA’s Policy Choices, Forcing States To Favor Renewable Energy Sources And Demand-Reduction Measures Over Fossil Fuel-Fired Electric Production.” According to a comment submitted to the EPA on the Clean Power Plan and signed by Attorney General Zoeller,  “On June 18, 2014, EPA proposed emission guidelines for carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants, invoking its authority under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act (‘CAA’), 42 U.S.C. § 7411(d). Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units, 79 Fed. Reg. 34,830 (June 18, 2014) (hereinafter ‘Proposal’). EPA’s proposal attempts to use the Clean Air Act to override states’ energy policies and impose a national energy and resource-planning policy that picks winners and losers based solely on EPA’s policy choices, forcing states to favor renewable energy sources and demand-reduction measures over fossil fuel-fired electric production. But the Clean Air Act generally and Section 111(d) specifically do not give EPA that breathtakingly broad authority to reorganize states’ economies. ‘Congress . . . does not, one might say, hide elephants in mouseholes.’ Whitman v. Am. Trucking Ass’ns, Inc., 531 U.S. 457, 468 (2001). Congress did not hide the authority to impose a national energy policy in the ‘mousehole’ of this obscure, little-used provision of the Clean Air Act, which EPA has only invoked five times in 40 years. The proposed rule has numerous legal defects, each of which provides an independent basis to invalidate the rule in its entirety.” [Comment by Attorneys General Submitted to the EPA on the Clean Power Plan, 11/24/14]

 

Zoeller Argued The Clean Power Plan Should Be Withdrawn, Stating, “In The Existing Source Rule, EPA Omitted For The Docket 84 Percent Of The Modeling Runs On Which It Relied In Crafting The Proposed Rule, Without Which The States And The Public Cannot Comment Meaningfully On The Proposal.” According to a letter written by Attorney General Zoeller concerning the Clean Power Plan, “In The Existing Source Rule and the Modified Sources Rule, EPA has repeated violated  Section 307’s unambiguous requirements: In the Existing Source Rule, EPA omitted for the docket 84 percent of the modeling runs on which it relied in crafting the proposed Rule, without which the States and the public cannot comment meaningfully on the proposal. Specifically, the docket does not include 21 out of 25 of the Integrated Planning Model modeling runs cover projections for 2016, 2018, 2020, 2025, and 2030. This information is critical to assessing EPA’s claims that States and industry will be able to comply with the four “building blocks” in the Proposed Existing Source Rule. The states need the modeling run data for sufficient analysis of what that data shows on a unit by unit and state by state basis.” [Letter to Gina McCarthy, 8/25/14]

 

Indiana Sued the EPA Over Clean Power Plan. According to an article in Nuvo, “The State of Indiana last week joined 10 other states and the Commonwealth of Kentucky in a lawsuit challenging the legality of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new Clean Power Plan, which aims to achieve targeted reductions in carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. ‘The EPA’s recent action regulating carbon dioxide emissions shows a complete disregard for the rule of law and will harm Indiana ratepayers,’ Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said Friday in a news release announcing the state’s action. ‘Congress has already rejected legislation that would put limits on carbon dioxide emissions, and a law of this significance should be passed by the legislative branch. The State of Indiana is determined to use every legal means at our disposal to prevent the EPA from overstepping its authority and costing Hoosier jobs.’ The announcement from the governor’s office made no mention of climate change or of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2007 determination that green house gases such as carbon dioxide are air pollutants subject to control under the Clean Air Act. Even though the Supreme Court’s 2007 decision compels the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases, the agency has yet to finalize its approach.” [Nuvo, 8/6/14]

 

Zoeller Criticized An Pro-EPA Supreme Court Ruling, Saying, “The Opinion Appears At First Reading To Be A Setback For The Relationship Of Cooperative Federalism Between The States And Federal Government.” According to an article in the Indiana Star, “Indiana and 27 other states have to reduce power plant pollution that contributes to smog and soot in downwind states, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. The court’s 6-2 decision upholds a rule issued by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2011 to reduce the cross-state pollution that makes it difficult for some states to meet clean air requirements…Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller criticized the decision. ‘Though the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion must be carefully analyzed to determine its actual impact on Indiana, the opinion appears at first reading to be a setback for the relationship of cooperative federalism between the states and federal government,’ Zoeller said in a statement.” [Indiana Star, 4/29/14]

 

2012: Greg Zoeller: “The EPA Has Imposed Stringent Regulations Of Carbon Dioxide Emissions That Potentially Could Restrict Economic Growth Without Producing Any Real Environmental Gains.”  According to an op-ed  in The Times by Greg Zoeller and Thomas Fisher, “Second, attorneys general protect states from unprecedented expansion of federal authority. The EPA has imposed stringent regulations of carbon dioxide emissions that potentially could restrict economic growth without producing any real environmental gains. State AGs frequently unite to challenge these ill-considered, unlawful EPA rules.” [The Times, 7/29/12]

 

2011: Greg Zoeller Filed An Amicus Brief Supporting Power Companies In The Supreme Court Case American Electric Power Co. V. Connecticut, Arguing That “Federal District Courts Are Not The Venues To Decide Inherently Political Questions.” According to an op-ed by Attorney General Greg Zoeller, “The state I represent in court, Indiana, is not a party in this lawsuit. Nonetheless, as Indiana’s attorney general, my duty is to alert the Supreme Court to Indiana’s legal concerns. To raise our arguments, we authored a 28-page amicus brief that 22 other states signed, and filed it with the nation’s highest court. The facts of the AEP v. Connecticut case and its procedural history are complicated and the underlying science is technical. But at its core is a concept that dates to the very founding of our Constitution: the separation of powers of our three branches of government. In our brief we contend federal district courts are not the venues to decide inherently political questions that belong instead within the legislative and executive branches. Consider how this case began: Connecticut filed suit against six utility companies alleging their carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired electric-generating plants contribute to global climate change. Connecticut, five other states and New York City alleged a ‘public nuisance’ under common law and asked the federal court to determine and impose limits on the amounts of CO2 emitted from utility smokestacks. As much as we respect the federal courts, it is neither appropriate nor practical for an appointed trial court judge to devise under common law complicated regulations for a utility industry already subject to considerable regulation as well as marketplace fluctuations and rapidly-changing technology.” [Indiana Governor’s Website, 4/18/11]

 

Kansas

 

Derek Schmidt (Republican)

Opposed

Schmidt Received $104,863 From Dirty Energy. According to the National Institute of Money in State Politics, Derek Schmidt has received a total of $104,863 from dirty energy during the last two election cycles. Schmidt received $51,782 in 2014 and $53,081 in 2010. [National Institute of Money in State Politics, accessed 10/19/15]

Attorney General Schmidt Joined The Lawsuit To Overturn The Clean Power Plan Due To Misuse Of The Clean Air Act.  According to a press release by Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, “Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, leading a coalition of 15 state Attorneys General, today filed a petition asking a court to issue an emergency stay to postpone deadlines imposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan while its legality is determined by the courts. ‘This rule is the most far-reaching energy regulation in the nation’s history, and the EPA simply does not have the legal authority to carry it out,’ Attorney General Morrisey said. ‘With this rule, the EPA is attempting to transform itself from an environmental regulator to a central planning agency for states’ energy economies. The Clean Air Act was never intended to be used to create this type of regulatory regime, and it flies in the face of the powers granted to states under the U.S. Constitution. The petition was filed Thursday afternoon with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit by Attorneys General from the states of West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.’” [Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, 8/13/15]

 

Kansas Attorney General: “This New Regulation Will Ultimately Cost Kansas Consumers And Ratepayers Enormous Sums Of Money And Should Not Be Implemented Without Proper Judicial Review.” According to an article in the Eagle Topeka Bureau, “‘The EPA ignored Kansas’ concerns about this rule that were submitted during the formal comment period,’ Schmidt said in a statement. ‘Masked within the regulation’s mind-numbing tedium is the reality that this new regulation will ultimately cost Kansas consumers and ratepayers enormous sums of money and should not be implemented without proper judicial review to determine whether the people’s elected representatives in Congress actually gave EPA the authority it now claims.’” [Eagle Topeka Bureau, 8/6/15]

 

Schmidt: “The EPA Cannot Possibly Have Concluded That The Benefits Of Its New Regulation Outweigh The Costs Since It Didn’t Weigh The Costs At All.” According to a press release by Attorney General Derek Schmidt, “The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge brought by Kansas and 20 other states against new federal regulations that would drive up costs to Kansas electricity ratepayers, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced today. ‘The EPA just flat ignored the cost of its new regulation,’ Schmidt said. ‘In the real world, where Kansas homeowners and businesses live, the cost of electricity is always a relevant part of making decisions. The EPA cannot possibly have concluded that the benefits of its new regulation outweigh the costs since it didn’t weigh the costs at all. I’m encouraged that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the states’ arguments that the EPA’s actions were unlawful.’” [Attorney General Derek Schmidt, 11/26/14]

 

Schmidt: “EPA’s Proposal Attempts To Use The Clean Air Act To Override States’ Energy Policies And Impose A National Energy And Resource-Planning Policy That Picks Winners And Losers Based Solely On EPA’s Policy Choices, Forcing States To Favor Renewable Energy Sources And Demand-Reduction Measures Over Fossil Fuel-Fired Electric Production.” According to a comment submitted to the EPA on the Clean Power Plan and signed by Attorney General Schmidt, “On June 18, 2014, EPA proposed emission guidelines for carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants, invoking its authority under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act (‘CAA’), 42 U.S.C. § 7411(d). Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units, 79 Fed. Reg. 34,830 (June 18, 2014) (hereinafter ‘Proposal’). EPA’s proposal attempts to use the Clean Air Act to override states’ energy policies and impose a national energy and resource-planning policy that picks winners and losers based solely on EPA’s policy choices, forcing states to favor renewable energy sources and demand-reduction measures over fossil fuel-fired electric production. But the Clean Air Act generally and Section 111(d) specifically do not give EPA that breathtakingly broad authority to reorganize states’ economies. ‘Congress . . . does not, one might say, hide elephants in mouseholes.’ Whitman v. Am. Trucking Ass’ns, Inc., 531 U.S. 457, 468 (2001). Congress did not hide the authority to impose a national energy policy in the ‘mousehole’ of this obscure, little-used provision of the Clean Air Act, which EPA has only invoked five times in 40 years. The proposed rule has numerous legal defects, each of which provides an independent basis to invalidate the rule in its entirety.” [Comment by Attorneys General Submitted to the EPA on the Clean Power Plan, 11/24/14]

 

Schmidt Argued The Clean Power Plan Should Be Withdrawn, Stating, “In The Existing Source Rule, EPA Omitted For The Docket 84 Percent Of The Modeling Runs On Which It Relied In Crafting The Proposed Rule, Without Which The States And The Public Cannot Comment Meaningfully On The Proposal.” According to a letter written by Attorney General Schmidt concerning the Clean Power Plan, “In The Existing Source Rule and the Modified Sources Rule, EPA has repeated violated  Section 307’s unambiguous requirements: In the Existing Source Rule, EPA omitted for the docket 84 percent of the modeling runs on which it relied in crafting the proposed Rule, without which the States and the public cannot comment meaningfully on the proposal. Specifically, the docket does not include 21 out of 25 of the Integrated Planning Model modeling runs cover projections for 2016, 2018, 2020, 2025, and 2030. This information is critical to assessing EPA’s claims that States and industry will be able to comply with the four “building blocks” in the Proposed Existing Source Rule. The states need the modeling run data for sufficient analysis of what that data shows on a unit by unit and state by state basis.” [Letter to Gina McCarthy, 8/25/14]

 

Kansas Sued The EPA Over Clean Power Plan. According to an article in the Associated Press, “The two lawsuits are the first salvos in what is likely to be a protracted legal battle as the coal industry and its political allies seek weak spots in the EPA’s interpretation of an untested section of the Clean Air Act, on which the proposed rule change is based. The states that filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia are Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming. West Virginia Atty. Gen. Patrick Morrisey said the EPA’s proposed rule will have ‘devastating effects on West Virginia’s jobs and its economy’ by forcing some coal-fired plants to close.” [Associated Press, 8/4/14]

 

2011: Kansas Secretary Of State Derek Schmidt Joined 20 Other States In A Letter To EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson Urging Her To Delay The Agency’s Implementation And Enforcement Of New, More Stringent Emission Standards. According to an article in the McPherson Sentinel, “Two Kansas lawmakers on Wednesday both took aim at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s attempts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions through its clean air act. Kansas Secretary of State Derek Schmidt joined 20 other states in a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson urging her to delay the agency’s implementation and enforcement of new, more stringent emission standards… ‘The same principle applies to this bureaucratic action as to the separate attempt to regulate by litigation,’ Schmidt said. ‘This is a major shift in public policy that requi

10.23.15 | permalink

Jeb Bush’s Low Energy Plan

With Walker Out, Jeb! Makes Play To Become New Koch Favorite With Big Oil-Giveaway Plan

Today Jeb W. Bush rolls out his low energy plan for America. Spoiler alert: Jeb will announce his fossil-friendly, anti-climate plan from the site of an oil and gas company that has been a serial offender of environmental violations. Jeb’s plan promises to provide backwards-looking ideas like more fossil fuels, fracking and horizontal drilling, and some more fossil fuels. What solutions does Jeb offer for addressing climate change? Zip. What’s Jeb’s plan to transition away from finite fossil fuels to a clean energy economy? Zero. What answers does Jeb have for reducing pollution for current and future generations? Zilch.

If Jeb’s all-fossil-fuels-agenda and rejection of responsible efforts to address climate change feels like a blast from the past, that's because it is. Jeb’s energy advisors are a who's who of former George W. Bush advisors, showing once again why a Jeb presidency would be nothing more than a third term for George W. Bush. Like his brother, who let Big Oil write his environmental policy, Jeb derides voters as “arrogant” if they believe the 97% of scientific community that climate change is real and man-made and has vowed to block any real progress like the President’s Clean Power Plan under the false pretense that it will hurt the economy, when independent analysts conclude it will actually create a quarter million jobs.  Jeb’s Big-Oil give away proposal shows he would rather be the Koch brother’s new favorite candidate than listen to 97% of scientists or even Republican pollsters who have shown that a majority of self-described conservative Republicans agree that climate change is man-made and poses a real threat.

09.29.15 | permalink

Welcome To Houston, Bush Brothers!

At a fundraiser with George tonight, will Jeb tell donors he’ll ‘Keep Us Safe’ like his brother, who ignored 9/11 warnings and misled the nation into a needless, bloody war in Iraq that fueled terrorist recruitment?

Not to mention, on the ropes after categorical debate claim that ‘[George W.] Kept Us Safe’, Jeb now adds “After 9/11”  on the campaign trail – the problem is, he didn’t:


Watch AUFC TV Ad “Safe?” Airing Nationwide This Week That Put Jeb on the Defensive

If Jeb thinks George ‘kept us safe’ even after 9/11, then the last thing we need is another Bush in the White House. For some reason, Jeb seems eager to have a debate over his brother’s failed tenure as Commander in Chief – but by all means, he should go on about how the Iraq war was a ‘good deal.’

REALITY CHECK: George W. Bush Did Not “Keep Us Safe”, A Story Told in Headlines

Reaction to Jeb’s Categorical and Delusional Declaration at the Debate that His Brother ‘Kept Us Safe’ :

  • New York Times editorial board, Sept. 17: Jeb Bush spun a particularly repellent fantasy. Speaking reverently of his brother the president, he said, “He kept us safe,” and invoked the carnage of 9/11. Wait, what? Did he mean George W. Bush, who was warned about the threat that Al Qaeda would attack? Who then invaded a non sequitur country, Iraq, over a nonexistent threat?
  • MICHAEL TOMASKY, THE DAILY BEAST: “Well, he kept us safe, except for that one night. The Secret Service kept Lincoln safe except that one night.”
  • Salon, Sept. 17: Jeb Bush’s noxious myth: Dubya didn’t “keep us safe” — he made the world infinitely more dangerous: Look, the Bush family can harbor whatever delusions they like within the privacy of their home. Whatever they have to tell themselves to feel better about the catastrophe that was George W. Bush’s presidency is fine by me. But this patently untrue trope has to die. And the fact that the audience rapturously applauded this remark makes it all the more urgent to correct the record. There’s nothing to debate here: George W. Bush didn’t keep us safe. I’m continually struck by the collective amnesia of the Republican Party. Yes, Jeb, we do “remember the rubble.” That mountain of rubble was the ruins of the World Trade Center, which was destroyed on your brother’s watch. And yes, Jeb, we also remember that it was your brother who received a presidential briefing just one month before those towers fell to the earth, warning him that Bin Laden was “determined to strike in U.S.”
  • New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait, Sept. 17: It is bizarre to center your defense of Bush having “kept us safe” with a photograph of him standing on the rubble from the worst domestic mass-casualty attack in American history, one that took place under his watch. In 2004, news emerged of a briefing Bush received warning of an impending attack. Subsequent revelations shows that this understates the intelligence Bush had presented to him. The administration dismissed not just one briefing but, as Kurt Eichenwald disclosed three years ago, many warnings of an impending attack by Al Qaeda, believing the intelligence was a disinformation campaign coordinated with Saddam Hussein to distract from Iraq.
  • Slate, Sept. 16, 2015: Jeb Cites 9/11 Rubble in Claiming George W. Bush Kept America Safe : Citing the deadliest attack on U.S. soil in history as evidence that someone protected Americans from being killed doesn’t literally make sense.
  • Think Progress, Sept. 16, 2016: Bush has oscillated on his brother’s foreign policy record over the course of his campaign. He’s both said he would not have gone into Iraq and also that the war that cost billions was a “good deal.” Many of Jeb Bush’s foreign policy advisers also advised his brother. Today, George W. Bush is one of the country’s least popular ex-presidents.
  • Talking Points Memo, Sept. 16: George W. Bush was President when about 3,000 Americans were killed in the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. He also authorized the subsequent invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, during which more than 4,400 American lives and 115,000 Iraqi lives where lost. Jeb has waded into George’s Iraq War record before, saying he would have invaded Iraq even given the intelligence we have now, before backtracking.
  •  Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change: “It’s as if Jeb Bush believes his brother’s presidency began on September 12th, 2001. But we’re not letting Jeb rewrite history. It’s convenient but not honest to ignore the facts that the worst attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor happened on George W. Bush’s watch after dismissing warnings from U.S. intelligence officials weeks before 9/11 that Osama bin Laden was ‘determined to strike in US’ and that his terrorist network might hijack American planes. Terrorism was a low priority for Bush before 9/11, and just six months after 9/11, catching the mastermind behind it wasn’t one either, stating “I truly am not that concerned about him.” By that time, the Bush administration was too busy cherry-picking intelligence to mislead the nation into a senseless, $3 trillion war against a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 -- a war that cost over 4,000 Americans their lives, left tens of thousands more injured and served as a major recruitment tool for terrorists. In what was the exact opposite of ‘keeping us safe’, a 2006 intelligence report concluded the Iraq war in fact "made the overall terrorism problem worse.”  Jeb surrounding himself with many of his brother’s old advisors that helped sell the disastrous war in Iraq may well explain his rosy revisionism today. But if Jeb Bush really believes his brother kept us safe, then Jeb Bush is the last person Americans should entrust their safety to.”

09.23.15 | permalink

GOP Field on Medicare

 SOURCE: Correct the Record

Jeb Bush

 

Jeb Bush on Medicare: “We need to figure out a way to phase out this program.” “Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said Wednesday that we ought to phase out Medicare, the federal program that provides health insurance to Americans once they’re 65. ‘We need to make sure we fulfill the commitment to people that have already received the benefits, that are receiving the benefits,’ Bush said. ‘But we need to figure out a way to phase out this program for others and move to a new system that allows them to have something, because they’re not going to have anything.’” [Huffington Post, 7/23/15]

 

 

Jeb Bush: Medicare is an “entitlement” and “an actuarially unsound healthcare system.” “During a town hall meeting here Thursday afternoon, Jeb Bush was put on the defensive about his comments Wednesday night about ‘phasing out’ Medicare by an elderly woman who said she was worried about losing benefits she’s spent years paying for. ‘We’re not going to have adequate coverage for our children or our grandchildren without Medicare. I paid into that for years and years just like all these other seniors here and now you want to take it away?’ said the woman, who did not identify herself and left before the town hall concluded. ‘Why are you always attacking the seniors?’ ‘Well, I’m not,’ Bush responded. ‘Here’s what I said: I said we’re going to have to reform our entitlement system. We have to.’ ‘It’s not an entitlement,’ the woman shot back. ‘I earned that.’ ‘It’s an actuarially unsound healthcare system,’ said Bush, who said something must be done before the system burdens future generations with $50 billion of debt.” [Politico, 7/23/15]

 

 

Scott Walker

 

Scott Walker said that cutting “entitlement programs” like Medicare and Social Security is “something that has to be done.” “The governor said entitlement programs, such as Medicare and Social Security, are expanding the federal budget deficit. Cutting entitlements won’t hurt the economy, he said. ‘I don’t think that has a negative impact on the economy,’ he said. ‘Politically, it may be a challenge for some folks in this town, but it’s something that has to be done.’” [Bloomberg, 2/23/15]

 

 

Marco Rubio

 

Marco Rubio supported turning Medicare into a voucher system. “Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, the Florida Republican said he supports gradually raising the Social Security retirement age, which now sits at 67, for future beneficiaries, and embraced Rep. Paul Ryan’s push to transition Medicare into a ‘premium-support’ plan, where seniors would be given a voucher to buy insurance on the private market. ‘I propose we transition to a premium-support system, which would give seniors a generous but fixed amount of money with which to purchase health insurance from either Medicare or a private provider,’ Mr. Rubio said. ‘The choice would be theirs to make.’” [Washington Times, 5/13/14]

 

Marco Rubio claimed that Medicare and Social Security had “weakened us as a people.” “In another sign that Medicare and Social Security will continue to be major issues in political campaigning and ongoing deficit reduction talks, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio has drawn flak this week from Democrats and retirement experts for his comments that such programs have ‘weakened us as a people.’ Democrats called Rubio ‘out of touch’ and ‘beholden to the extremist Tea Party’ for his comments in a speech Tuesday night at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library in California.” [Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 8/25/11]

 

 

Ben Carson

 

Ben Carson said he would eliminate Medicare. “Dr. Carson also advocates an alternative to the Affordable Care Act. Most people could pay most of their medical bills through health savings accounts, he said in his office. He would eliminate Medicaid and Medicare, and for the poor, government would make the contributions to their health accounts.” [New York Times, 3/20/13]

 

 

Rand Paul

 

Rand Paul introduced legislation “that would end traditional Medicare.” “A group of Senate Republicans has introduced legislation that would end traditional Medicare and sign seniors up for the same private healthcare plans received by members of Congress. The ‘Congressional Health Care for Seniors Act’ would allow seniors to choose from the array of plans currently offered to the four million federal employees and their dependents in the Federal Employee Health Benefit program, starting in 2014. It would also gradually increase the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 70 over a 20-year period. The bill was introduced Thursday by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). South Carolina Sens. Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint are co-sponsors, along with Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).” [The Hill, 3/15/12]

 

 

Chris Christie

 

Chris Christie called for an increase in the Medicare retirement age. “The New Jersey governor, in a speech at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College, called for means testing Social Security, raising the retirement age for Social Security to 69 and gradually raising the eligibility age for Medicare to 67 by the year 2040.” [WMUR Manchester, 4/14/15]

 

 

Rick Perry

 

Rick Perry suggested that Medicare was unconstitutional and a “Ponzi scheme.” “Perry, who referred to the justices as ‘nine oligarchs in robes,’ said he was not convinced that Social Security and Medicare were constitutional. ‘I don’t think our Founding Fathers, when they were putting the term ‘general welfare’ in there, were thinking about a federally operated program of pensions nor a federally operated program of healthcare,’ he said in a book interview with Newsweek last fall. ‘Whether it’s Social Security, whether it’s Medicaid, whether it’s Medicare … they’re bankrupt. They’re a Ponzi scheme. I challenge anybody to stand up and defend the Social Security program that we have today.’” [Los Angeles Times, 8/23/11]

 

 

07.27.15 | permalink

Jeb Bush Is Blowing It In Iowa

The Jeb Bush campaign is blowing it in Iowa. He's getting “torched” in the polls, ducking the straw poll and there's even debate that he'll skip the caucuses altogether. So why is it that the Bush campaign is tanking so bad in Iowa?

For one possibility, let's rewind the tape to 2012. Many, including Obama's own campaign manager, credited Romney's loss in Iowa to a fairly simple, untenable position: Opposition to wind production tax credits, which effect about 6,000 jobs in Iowa. During the 2012 campaign Romney not only opposed the wind production tax credit, he lambasted such subsidies as "boondoggles" from an economic "imaginary world". Maybe it's the same imaginary world where he carries Iowa, because the wind energy tax credits Romney lambasted were also supported by Iowa's Republican Governor, Terry Branstad, and by both Iowa Senators. Heck, even Congressman Steve King supports them. After Romney voiced opposition to the credits, Senator Chuck Grassley said it felt it was just like a knife in my back". Governor Branstad said Romney's campaign was full of a "bunch of east coast people that need to get out here in the real world to find out what’s really going on.” The Obama campaign hammered him with ads over the issue. 

In that same cycle, the Koch brothers’ network stated their goal was to make the Wind PTC “toxic” to Republicans. The oil tycoon brother’s and their network, including Americans for Prosperity, American Tradition Institute, American Energy Alliance and Heritage Foundation have all actively campaigned against the Wind Industry and the PTC. 

This brings us back to Jeb Bush who made the strange anti-Iowa move of announcing that he wants to “phase out” any credits for renewables such as the wind production tax credit. But while Bush has been tanking in Iowa, the good news is he’s been offered an audition spot for the Koch brother’s billion-dollar shadow primary.

So why would Bush turn his back on Iowa and repeat such a glaring Romney mistake? It doesn't take a weatherman to know.

05.19.15 | permalink

An Open Letter to 47 GOP Senators

Dear 47 GOP Senators (you know who you are):

Congratulations on your “breathtakingly reckless intrusion into international diplomacy”. We’re impressed by the “almost maniacal…zeal to deny the president any accomplishments”, despite being completely “unconscious of the damage [you’ve] done to [yourselves]”.

Some people might say that “the senators who signed the letter should be ashamed”, that the letter “amounts to an act of End Times warmongering or merely another bit of cringe-worthy buffoonery on the global stage”. But we stand in awe of this “petulant, condescending stunt”, “depressingly partisan as it is shortsighted”.

It takes a heavy set to “play a role as Official Underminer of a president's direct negotiations”. Real talk: “it’s not every day that a United States senator attempts to… weaken the nation in one cursive swoop”. You may “have done immeasurable harm to [your] image and U.S. credibility in world affairs”, but above all your “disregard for the national security interests of the country…calls into question [your] claims that [your] party can be trusted to govern”.

But governing wasn’t ever the goal, right? “If [you] blow up nuclear talks, it makes war with Iran that much more likely — and nobody would benefit as much from that war as military contractors”… the same ones Tom Cotton met with the day after he sent the letter. Of course it’s not “beyond the pale to write to the leaders of a potential enemy to sabotage the negotiations”!

So who cares about “the credibility of the nation whose constitution [you] took an oath to uphold”. We know your “foreign policy agitprop has moved beyond being merely partisan to downright dangerous” entirely on purpose.

Is “trying diplomacy better than a war into which United States forces most certainly would be drawn?” Not when war bucks means more bucks!

Sincerely,

Americans United for Change

with help from:

The Boston Globe
The San Francisco Chronicle
USA Today
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Salt Lake Tribune
The New York Daily News
The Cleveland Plain Dealer
The Arizona Republic
The Concord Monitor
The Courier Journal
The Baltimore Sun
The Washington Post
The Intercept
The Sacramento Bee
The Detroit Free Press
The News & Observer

03.11.15 | permalink

Twitter Round-Up: Could the Speaker Look Weaker?

Just hours before the Department of Homeland Security was set to shut down at the hands of Republicans, Speaker of the House John Boehner threw up one last Hail Mary toward avoiding governing at all costs and kicking the American Security can down the road. Instead, he lost 52 House Republicans and his 3-week continuing resolution went down 203-224. As can be expected, another in a long list of failures by the House GOP leadership was not lost on the Twitterverse.

02.27.15 | permalink

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