Obama poised to release legacy-defining ‘Clean Power Plan’ today

Good morning from Augusta, where we’re in the calm after the storm. A week of legal wrangling between Gov. Paul LePage, the Legislature and other groups has come to a close, leaving us to await the Maine Supreme Judicial Court’s decision about 65 vetoed bills. 

I appear to know what I’m talking about here but the truth is that I was on vacation last week and spent most of the week in sandals and a bathing suit. My colleague, Mario Moretto, was on duty and, judging by his stories, told you just about everything there was to tell you. Which brings us to this week. 

Judging by my inbox, the most important political developments today will come from President Barack Obama, whose Environmental Protection Agency is poised to release an ambitious and aggressive “Clean Power Plan” to reduce carbon emissions from power plants.

This move by the president is expected to be vast and comprehensive and I’ve seen the terms “defining” and “legacy” used more than once. The New York Times calls today’s expected development to be the “strongest action ever taken in the United States to combat climate change.” Over time, the Clean Power Plan aims to shutter coal-fired power plants across the country and increase the production of wind, solar and other forms of renewable energy. 

The state and representatives from a range of industries are expected to fight the move in court, a process that is likely to unfold over a span of years. 

Local environmental groups here in Maine are poised to spend the day telling us what Obama’s plan will mean for Maine. Stay tuned. — Christopher Cousins

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Pingree to Ukraine and Italy

Rep. Chellie Pingree has spent the past few days on a trip to Ukraine and Italy, where among other things she received briefings on Europe’s political, economic and security landscape.

According to a press release from Pingree’s office, Pingree also met with the United Nations World Food Programme. The trip was led by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California and was also attended by five other congressional Democrats. — Christopher Cousins

Reading list

Mojo Nixon: Elvis Presley is in your jeans, cheeseburgers and mom

Somehow I have gone through nearly four decades on this planet without coming across Mojo Nixon but thanks to my friend, colleague and musical expert Troy R. Bennett, I am a new Mojo temple inductee. Yesterday was his birthday

Click here, trust me. It’s fun. The rest of today’s Daily Brief will make no sense and possibly be offensive if you don’t.

Did you know that Elvis built the pyramids and Stonehenge? He is EVERYWHERE (except in Michael J. Fox). He’s in Joan Rivers but is trying to get out.

So, “Like the king, get that leg going now. Get your lip, too. Not no fool Billy Idol lip, either.”

Happy birthday, Mojo. Elvis is in your birthday cake. — Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins

About Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins has worked as a journalist in Maine for more than 15 years and covered state government for numerous media organizations before joining the Bangor Daily News in 2009.