After long anticipation and many delays, EPA is expected to issue its first limits on carbon pollution from power plants this week.
With Republicans increasingly desperate in the face of economic recovery, they are sure to treat this as a lifeline, a focus for renewed attacks. They will try to make the rule a stand-in for government overreach, job-killing regulations, and Obama’s secret plan to raise gas prices. Also probably Sharia.
These conservative attacks will be meritless, flying in the face of the considered judgment of credible, independent analysts. But the political media is unlikely to play “truth vigilante” by fact-checking them. Instead, expect endless horse-race coverage of political tactics based on tired conventional wisdom — dissociated, for example, from the fact that EPA air rules are wildly popular with the public, across partisan lines.
With that coming fact void in mind, here are the top five things you need to know about the rule and the attacks that will follow it.
1. This rule applies to new power plants, not existing or currently permitted plants, meaning it won’t have any real effect until well after the election.