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Memorandum of Disapproval Concerning Legislation Regarding Congressional Disapproval of an Environmental Protection Agency Rule on Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines

December 18, 2015

S.J. Res. 24 is a joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5 of the United States Code of a rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) relating to "Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units." This resolution would nullify the Clean Power Plan, the first national standards to address climate-destabilizing greenhouse gas pollution from existing power plants. Accordingly, I am withholding my approval of this resolution. (The Pocket Veto Case, 279 U.S. 655 (1929)).

Climate change poses a profound threat to our future and future generations. Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, a primary greenhouse gas, are higher than they have been in at least 800,000 years. In 2009, EPA determined that greenhouse gas pollution endangers Americans' health and welfare by causing long-lasting changes in the climate that can have, and are already having, a range of negative effects on human health, the climate, and the environment. We are already seeing the impacts of climate change, and established science confirms that we will experience stronger storms, deeper droughts, longer wildfire seasons, and other intensified impacts as the planet warms. The Pentagon has determined that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security.

The Clean Power Plan is a tremendously important step in the fight against global climate change. It is projected to reduce carbon pollution from power plants by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. It builds on progress States and the power sector are already making to move toward cleaner energy production, and gives States the time and flexibility they need to develop tailored, cost-effective plans to reduce their emissions. By nullifying the Clean Power Plan, S.J. Res. 24 not only threatens ongoing progress toward cleaner energy, but would also eliminate public health and other benefits of up to $54 billion per year by 2030, including thousands fewer premature deaths from air pollution and thousands fewer childhood asthma attacks each year.

The Clean Power Plan is essential in addressing the largest source of greenhouse gas pollution in our country. It is past time to act to mitigate climate impacts on American communities. Because the resolution would overturn the Clean Power Plan, which is critical to protecting against climate change and ensuring the health and well-being of our Nation, I cannot support it.

To leave no doubt that the resolution is being vetoed, in addition to withholding my signature, I am returning S.J. Res. 24 to the Secretary of the Senate, along with this Memorandum of Disapproval.

BARACK OBAMA

The White House,

December 18, 2015.

Barack Obama, Memorandum of Disapproval Concerning Legislation Regarding Congressional Disapproval of an Environmental Protection Agency Rule on Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/311752

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