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 McCaskillConservatives spark threat of bloody GOP primaries Congress needs to work to combat the poverty, abuse and neglect issues that children face Lobbying world MORE (Mo.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharOvernight Defense: House passes T spending package with defense funds | Senate set to vote on blocking Saudi arms sales | UN nominee defends climate change record Overnight Defense: House passes T spending package with defense funds | Senate set to vote on blocking Saudi arms sales | UN nominee defends climate change record The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Trump jumps into 2020 race MORE (Minn.), Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinCritics say Interior's top lawyer came 'close to perjury' during Hill testimony Critics say Interior's top lawyer came 'close to perjury' during Hill testimony The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Trump takes heat for remarks on help from foreign governments MORE (W.Va.), Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuCongress needs to work to combat the poverty, abuse and neglect issues that children face Dems wrestle over how to vote on ‘Green New Deal’ Lobbying world MORE (La.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampLobbying World Pro-trade group targets Democratic leadership in push for new NAFTA On The Money: Stocks sink on Trump tariff threat | GOP caught off guard by new trade turmoil | Federal deficit grew 38 percent this fiscal year | Banks avoid taking position in Trump, Dem subpoena fight MORE (N.D.) and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyConservatives spark threat of bloody GOP primaries Anti-corruption group hits Congress for ignoring K Street, Capitol Hill 'revolving door' K Street giants scoop up coveted ex-lawmakers 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.