Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Jonathon Chait On Keystone XL

I've said it before, environmentalists aren't focused on Obama regulations re existing power plants because their role in that fight is largely over.  They did their bit. They won.  Chait acknowledges  this vaguely.  He writes:

I’ve argued that the EPA regulations on existing power plants due to come out this summer are Obama’s chance to fulfill his original climate goals that seemed to slip away when the cap-and-trade bill died in Congress during his first term. That doesn’t mean Obama is destined to succeed. Several things have to go right. First, the regulations have to be good — 200 to 500 metric tons per year is obviously a huge range. Then they have to survive a legal challenge from conservatives.

Yeah but this part of the process is not particularly amenable to mass action of the kind Bill McKibbon and specialize in.  Its a job for regulators and lawyers, the last of which have already done a bang-up job defending the EPA's right to treat C02 as a pollutant from any number of conservative interest groups.  So why not focus attention on new victories--ie shutting down Keystone XL?  And should said regulations come out on the weak side, well I'm sure the environmental movement can walk and chew bubblegum at the same time.

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