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Moderate Dems call for longer deadlines in EPA climate rule

Six moderate Democratic senators are asking the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to give states more time to comply with its climate rule for power plants.

Citing reports from the North American Electrical Reliability Corporation, states, businesses and others, the senators said the proposed deadlines in the rule could threaten electric reliability.

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The letter came shortly after a group of the senators’ most liberal colleagues asked the EPA to implement a rule with even stronger carbon emissions cuts than the 30 percent reduction proposed.

The moderate Democrats did not ask that the rule be scrapped but had specific suggestions to make it more attainable. It also does not express support for it.

“In order to address the costs to consumers and potential reliability concerns ... the final rule must provide adequate time for the design, permitting and construction of such large scale capital intensive infrastructure,” the lawmakers wrote.

“To address this concern, we urge the elimination of initial 2020 targets in the final rule.”

While the rule targets a 30 percent carbon cut by 2030, it also has a set of actions that states must take by 2020.

The moderate Democrats said that states should be responsible for developing their own “glide paths” toward the 2030 goal.

The lawmakers signing the letter were Sens. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillDemocrats must turn around Utah police arrest man driving 130 mph claiming he was going to kill former Missouri senator McCaskill congratulates Hawley on birth of daughter MORE (Mo.), Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: YouTube suspends OANN amid lawmaker pressure | Dems probe Facebook, Twitter over Georgia runoff | FCC reaffirms ZTE's national security risk Democrats urge YouTube to remove election misinformation, step up efforts ahead of Georgia runoff YouTube temporarily suspends OANN account after spreading coronavirus misinformation MORE (Minn.), Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinMajor unions back Fudge for Agriculture secretary Voters split on eliminating the filibuster: poll OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Barrasso to seek top spot on Energy and Natural Resources Committee | Forest Service finalizes rule weakening environmental review of its projects | Biden to enlist Agriculture, Transportation agencies in climate fight MORE (W.Va.), Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuCassidy wins reelection in Louisiana Bottom line A decade of making a difference: Senate Caucus on Foster Youth MORE (La.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampMajor unions back Fudge for Agriculture secretary Five House Democrats who could join Biden Cabinet Biden names John Kerry as 'climate czar' in new administration MORE (N.D.) and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyBiden and Schumer face battles with left if Democrats win big Harris walks fine line on Barrett as election nears The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by JobsOhio - Showdown: Trump-Biden debate likely to be nasty MORE (Ind.).

They also asked that states have more than the proposed 13 months after the rule is made final to send the EPA their implementation plans, and that states get more credit for renewable energy transmitted across state lines.

Some of the senators, such as Manchin and Landrieu, have previously come out against the rule.