Republicans vow to thwart US-China climate deal.

Guardian: “Republicans promised on Wednesday to use their expanded power in Congress to undermine Barack Obama’s historic deal over carbon emissions with China on Wednesday, claiming Beijing could not be trusted to see through its side of an agreement that would ultimately damage the US economy.”
“The hard-hitting response from top Republicans to the historic deal between the US and China – the world’s two largest emitters – foreshadowed an expected collision with the White House over climate change that looks set to define Obama’s last two years in office and could shape the 2016 presidential elections.
Emboldened by their victory in last week’s midterm elections, which gave Republicans control over the Senate as well as the House of Representatives, the president’s opponents are searching for ways to hobble a bold climate change strategy that Obama’s aides believe could be the legacy of his second term in office.
That fight will encompass top-line carbon emissions targets set by White House, rules implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that will reduce pollution from power stations and a looming and totemic decision over the Keystone XL pipeline.
The pipeline is a politically contentious project that the Obama administration has repeatedly delayed. The Keystone pipeline, which would transport crude oil from Canada to refineries on the US Gulf Coast, has become a hugely symbolic proxy for the battle between environmentalists and the corporate energy sector.
….The deal also involves the US going further than it had previously pledged. It doubles the pace of US carbon pollution reduction – from 1.2% per year from 2005 to 2020, to 2.3% to 2.8% from 2020 to 2025.
Inhofe said the deal held the US to a different standard. “It’s hollow and not believable for China to claim it will shift 20% of its energy to non-fossil fuels by 2030, and a promise to peak its carbon emissions only allows the world’s largest economy to buy time,” he said.
Appearing on the Senate floor later, Inhofe added: “Even if they agreed to reducing emissions, we wouldn’t believe them.”
Dismissing the global push to cut emissions, he said “people are trying to resurrect” the notion that there’s “actually some truth to the global warming thing”.
Obama’s top advisers said the deal was significant. “To put it plainly, this is a big deal,” said John Podesta, counselor to the president, who oversees climate change and energy policy.
“This target keeps us on track to reduce our carbon pollution on the order of 80% by 2050, and means the US is doing our part to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius.”
Podesta is widely tipped to play a key role in Hillary Clinton’s expected bid for the White House in 2016. A future Democratic president is unlikely to object to the targets inherited from the Obama administration, but a Republican president would not feel so tightly bound to them.
With the exception of New Jersey governor Chris Christie, whose apparentposition on climate change has veered over time, the views of potential Republican candidates range from scepticism about the scientific evidence of man-made climate change to outright denial of its existence.”