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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 McCaskillThe Memo: Punish Trump or risk a repeat, warn Democrats GOP senators criticized for appearing to pay half-hearted attention to trial Hawley watches trial from visitor's gallery MORE (Mo.), Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: China implicated in Microsoft breach | White House adds Big Tech critic | QAnon unfazed after false prediction FDA signals plan to address toxic elements in baby food Sen. Tina Smith calls for eliminating filibuster MORE (Minn.), Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinSunday shows preview: Manchin makes the rounds after pivotal role in coronavirus relief debate Biden takes victory lap after Senate passes coronavirus relief package Schumer insists Democrats unified after chaotic coronavirus debate 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 HeitkampCentrist Democrats pose major problem for progressives Harrison seen as front-runner to take over DNC at crucial moment Biden to tap Vilsack for Agriculture secretary: reports MORE (N.D.) and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyEverybody wants Joe Manchin Centrist Democrats pose major problem for progressives Biden and Schumer face battles with left if Democrats win big 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.