Organizing for Action Gets Behind EPA Coal Regs

President Obama speaks at an Organizing for Action event in November. The group is pushing supporters to get behind EPA regulations for coal-plant emissions. (National Journal)

The coal-regulations-as-political-proxy-war continues: Organizing for Action, the former campaign arm of President Obama's reelection bid, is urging its followers to support new Environmental Protection Agency regulations for coal-plant emissions.

The Hill has the OFA email that went out Tuesday. It reads, in part: "Climate change is real — there's no credible scientific debate anymore.... That's why we need to do something about it — that includes taking action to reduce our carbon emissions.... Right now, the EPA is asking for the public's input on these new limits on carbon emissions — add your name to show your support, and we'll pass it along."

It's the latest in the escalating political battle that has erupted over the proposed EPA cutbacks to emissions for new coal plants. A few of the flashpoints thus far:

  • Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., proposed a bill that would block or limit EPA's ability to mandate emissions cutbacks. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced its backing of that plan Monday.
  • Meanwhile, EPA is holding public comment sessions at its 11 regional offices. Republicans and some red-state Democrats have issued open letters and a House resolution calling on the agency to also visit the states that get the greatest portion of their electricity from coal. EPA has defended its outreach efforts.
  • Environmental groups have pushed back in support of the new rules. The League of Conservation Voters released polling last month that it says shows strong public support for the regulations.
  • EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has also defended her agency's policy, saying the carbon capture essentially mandated by the rules is based on available technology, which is a point of dispute among opponents.