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House Moves To Quash Obama Coal, Gas Rules

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans voted Friday to cramp President Barack Obama’s environmental policies in favor of increased coal production, in a parting jab before returning home to campaign. The bill would bar the Environmental Protection Agency from restricting greenhouse gases, quash stricter fuel efficiency standards for cars and give states control over disposal of harmful coal byproducts.

The “Stop the War on Coal Act,” passed on a mainly party-line vote, is a companion to GOP campaign ads accusing Obama and Democrats of costing the U.S. hundreds of thousands of jobs while driving up energy prices. Democrats dismissed the legislation as political theatrics, pointing out that almost all the provisions had already passed in the House.

Nineteen Democrats — mostly from coal-producing and conservative-leaning states — broke ranks to join Republicans in the 233-175 vote. The legislation is dead on arrival in the Democratic-led Senate, and Obama has already threatened a veto should it ever reach his desk.

Republicans and conservative groups are working to saddle down-ballot Democrats with Obama’s environmental policies, which are unpopular in energy-producing battleground states such as Virginia and Ohio. They argue that no source of jobs or affordable energy can be spared amid a still-weak economy, with unemployment at 8.1 percent, and reliance on oil from the tumultuous Middle East.

Source: Associated Press

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