Much to the chagrin of New York State, representatives have voted against action on climate change. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a pair of resolutions last week to override federal Environmental Protection Agency carbon emissions.
If enacted, the move would bring President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan to a halt. President Obama is expected to veto the resolution.
New York Representative Chris Gibson joined his fellow Republicans in voting to undermine the plan, which aims to cut emissions nationwide by 32 percent in the next 15 years. Though Gibson allies himself with the Republican party, he has in the past surprised environmentalists with his willingness to support sustainability. Earlier this year, Gibson pressured Republicans to admit the reality of climate change.
Nonetheless, Gibson has come out against the president’s plan on economic grounds, stating that it creates unnecessary strain on energy companies. The plan, which seeks to make drastic cuts to coal power, would put the United States at the forefront of the fight against climate change. Gibson argues that this would give an advantage to countries that do not abide by these rules.
Representative Elise Stefanik, another New York Republican, also supported the bill. State Department of Environmental Conservation commissioner Basil Segos criticized the pair for disobeying New Yorker’s wishes in fighting climate change.
The first measure, which would block the EPA from regulating existing power plants, passed with only two Republicans dissenting. The second, which barres regulations for new or modified power plants, saw ten Republicans object. Only two and four Democrats voted for each, respectively.
According to a study by Yale University, some 76 percent of New Yorkers support the president’s plan. New York State has repeatedly supported President Obama’s push on a national stage. With 26 state governments suing to block the regulations, New York has joined 17 others in a counter suit.