White House adviser lays out case for climate rule with House Dems

 

White House adviser John Podesta met with a small group of top House Democrats Thursday to preview the administration's climate regulation for existing power plants.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) spoke with The Hill Thursday evening right before he met with Podesta and a handful of Democrats in House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's (Calif.) office.

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"I'm actually about to meet with John Podesta right now to talk about the rule," Van Hollen said in a brief interview. "He's going to lay out some details on the announcement and how they will build up the case for the rule."

The White House is expected to unveil Obama's signature climate regulation on Monday.

Podesta told Democrats Thursday that he expects a few Republican governors to fight the rule but not at the same level they resisted the Affordable Care Act, said two people who attended the meeting, according to Bloomberg News.

If those states don't cooperate with the rule, then it would be enforced but the Environmental Protection Agency, which is tasked with carrying out the first ever carbon limits on power plants.

It's a contentious rule, and the administration and Democrats are expecting a fight.

"Too many Republican members of Congress have their heads in the sand," Van Hollen said. "They are refusing to acknowledge the cost of inaction."

Van Hollen said he understands Republicans' desire to direct climate policy through Congress, but that action needs to happen now.

"I would prefer the way of the legislative route," he said. "But we need to have polluters pay for the cost of damages to our kids' health and the extreme weather these emissions are creating."

During a call with reporters earlier Thursday, Podesta said that "the net benefits of this rule will be quite substantial."