Collins, King oppose GOP bid to roll back Obama emissions rules

Republicans in the U.S. Senate voted Tuesday to roll back President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, with Maine’s senators, Republican Susan Collins and independent Angus King, opposing the measure.

The Senate voted 52-46 against the plan in a little-used procedure that can block executive orders with a majority vote, according to the Associated Press. But though a similar measure will likely pass in the House, both are still subject to Obama’s veto.

The plan, which aims to to reduce emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by the year 2030, is dividing states in the South and Midwest reliant on coal-fired power and states that aren’t. States including West Virginia and Texas have led a court fight against the rules, while Maine has joined California, New York and other states in backing them.

Therefore, the opposition from Collins and King isn’t a shock. Collins did stick with Republicans in a ceremonial bid to make the plan harder to enforce in March, but she praised changes that made it “more flexible” by August.

Environmental and health groups, including the Sierra Club and the American Lung Association, praised the Maine senators’ Tuesday votes.

“The CPP will protect our air and water from fossil fuel pollution while promoting the necessary transition to a clean energy economy, bringing good jobs and more opportunities to Mainers from advanced energy technologies like solar and wind,” said Glen Brand, director of the Sierra Club’s Maine chapter. — Michael Shepherd

LePage takes Las Vegas

Gov. Paul LePage is in Sin City for the annual conference of the Republican Governors Association, which starts today and ends tomorrow at the Wynn Las Vegas.

The meeting comes as 30 Republican governors — including LePage — are fighting President Obama’s plan to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees in the next year.

They said those refugees aren’t welcome in their states after the Friday attacks in Paris that killed 129, even though their stances are mostly symbolic, because the federal government has authority over immigration.

Adrienne Bennett, LePage’s spokeswoman, said Monday that the governor will discuss that issue with his colleagues. The governors are also set to replace the association’s chairman and vice chairwoman, according to the Las Vegas Sun— Michael Shepherd

Reading list

Best of Maine’s Craigslist

  • If you know someone who loves “dinosaurs AND puzzles,” a conscientious poster in Westbrook says, you’re in luck. There’s a reason they’re giving this dinosaur puzzle book away — a few missing pieces. But, “Unless the dinosaur-and-puzzle-loving person in your life is also a staunch stickler for details, a few missing puzzle pieces shouldn’t be a problem, right?” Fair point.
  • Last week, a “drunk fisherman” lost his red bike on the Portland waterfront. It wasn’t locked, so “the drunk fisherman possibly deserves to lose it,” but it’s his only form of transportation and he’d really like it back. Hey, we’ve all been there, man. Let’s help the guy out. — Michael Shepherd
Michael Shepherd

About Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd joined the Bangor Daily News in 2015 after covering state, federal and local issues for the Kennebec Journal for three years. He's a Hallowell native who now lives in Gardiner. He graduated from the University of Maine in 2012 and is a graduate student at the University of Southern Maine's Muskie School of Public Service.