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California unveils sweeping plan to combat climate change

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California released a sweeping plan to cut the state’s output of heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions on Friday, countering the newly-minted Trump administration’s move to undo federal U.S. carbon regulations.

The plan drew battle lines for an expected clash with President Donald Trump over climate change, including a fight over the state’s decades-old authority to set emissions limits that are far stricter than those in many other parts of the United States.

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California’s plan details how the state would achieve its goal of cutting emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, which state air regulators called the most ambitious target in North America.

Trump has cast doubt on the degree to which human activity causes climate change. His nominee for secretary of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, this week expressed doubts about the science behind climate change and said EPA rules should not hurt economic development.

The California plan includes an extension of the state’s controversial carbon cap and trade program and calls for the state’s oil refineries to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent.

“Climate change is impacting California now, and we need to continue to take bold and effective action to address it head on to protect and improve the quality of life in California,” said CARB chair Mary Nichols.

The Trump administration on Friday removed all mentions of climate change from the White House website and said it would eliminate the Climate Action Plan, which seeks to cut emissions in part by preserving forests and encouraging increased use of cleaner renewable fuels. [L1N1FA1H6]

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During a congressional hearing on Wednesday, Pruitt said the government would not commit to letting California set more stringent vehicles emissions standards through a federal waiver.

Pruitt, the attorney general of Oklahoma, has sued the Obama administration over the Clean Power Plan, a key part of the nation’s effort to meet its international climate change agreement.

In addition to extending the cap and trade program out to 2030, California’s proposal calls for an 18 percent reduction in the carbon intensity of transportation fuels burned in the state and 4.2 million zero-emission vehicles on the road.

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It would set California’s economy, which is the world’s sixth largest, on a trajectory to achieving an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, regulators said.

(Reporting by Rory Carroll, additional reporting by Valerie Volcovici; editing by G Crosse and Andrew Hay)

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McConnell shredded for lying about ‘impeachment obsession’ slowing Senate’s work

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Democrats have called out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's hypocrisy on a stalled legislative agenda.

The Kentucky Republican accuses the Democratic minority of holding up legislation and failing to do their jobs as the House conducts impeachment hearings, and taunted them to help him pass GOP-backed bills, reported Newsweek.

We’re a few weeks from the end of 2019 and Congress is feeling the impact from months of Democrat heel-dragging. The impeachment obsession has brought us into December with core, routine governing duties still unfulfilled. It is past time to get serious and pass these key bills.

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Kamala Harris leads 27 Senate Democrats in call for Trump to fire Stephen Miller

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More than half the Democrats in the Senate have issued a letter to the White House calling on President Donald Trump to fire White House senior adviser Stephen Miller after leaked emails showed Miller promoting white nationalist outlets and ideology.

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and 26 other Senate Democrats, including presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Michael Bennet, D-Colo., signed the letter.

“We write to demand the immediate removal of Stephen Miller as your advisor,” said the letter, which was first obtained by HuffPost. “What is driving Mr. Miller” is “not national security, it’s white supremacy — something that has no place in our country, federal government, and especially not the White House.”

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‘Any other attorney general would resign’: MSNBC’s Morning Joe scalds Barr for ‘lying’ about FBI

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MSNBC's Joe Scarborough scalded Attorney General William Barr for lying about the inspector general report he ordered to justify President Donald Trump's conspiracy theories.

The Department of Justice's inspector general failed to find evidence of an FBI plot against Trump's 2016 campaign, but Barr publicly disagreed with those findings and insisted there was not enough justification to launch the Russia investigation.

"His lie about Barack Obama, you know, crawling around Trump Tower like bugging his phone, a lie," Scarborough said. "The lie from the attorney general of the United States, just shocking, that FBI agents, quote, 'spied,' spied on the president of the United States -- a lie."

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