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Beltway Confidential

Obama campaign team rallies around executive push on climate policy

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Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke,Organizing for Action,Climate Change,EPA,Coal

President Obama's old campaign team rallied grassroots support for the Environmental Protection Agency's new anti-global warming regulations on coal-fueled power plants.

"The Environmental Protection Agency recently announced new rules to limit carbon pollution from power plants, and they're asking for public comments on the proposal," Organizing for Action climate campaign manager Ivan Frishberg wrote today in a message to Obama's grassroots base.

"[T]ell them to implement the emissions rules for power plants," Frishberg said.

The OFA email comes a day after The Hill reported "there's one thing that's going right for Obama: Executive action on climate change is moving full-speed ahead at the Environmental Protection Agency."

The story, featured as the lead item on the Drudge Report, said that "Obama eyes executive orders as second term crumbles."

Whether a coincidence or an example of OFA conducting rapid response messaging for administration, the email suggests that the Obama team is gearing up for a fight on the EPA rules.

That fight pits the president against some members of his own party. “EPA's choice to hold coal and gas to the same emissions standards is unprecedented under the Clean Air Act, and is yet another example of EPA overreach,” Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va. said in March.

“The new regulations attempt to force standards on coal emissions that would not only be incredibly expensive, but impossible to achieve even with advanced technology,” Manchin said.

An EPA regional administrator said last year that the agency seeks to shut down the coal industry entirely.

"You can't imagine how tough that was, because -- you got to remember -- if you go to West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and all those places, you have coal communities who depend on coal," Spaulding said of former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson's decision to publish the emissions rules that OFA touted this morning.

"And to say, 'we just think those communities should just go away' -- we can't do that. But she had to do what the law and policy suggested and it's painful. It is painful every step of the way," he said.

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