The Environmental Protection Agency said it will reconsider a decision issued in the final weeks of the Bush administration that would have eased approval of new coal-fired power plants. Stephen Johnson, head of the EPA under George W. Bush, had issued a memorandum in December saying heat-trapping carbon dioxide isn't a pollutant that the agency can regulate when approving power plants. Environmental groups characterized yesterday's decision as a step toward the EPA regulating greenhouse-gas emissions from new coal plants. The EPA decision is a "victory" and "yet another indication that change really has come to Washington and to EPA in particular," David Bookbinder, climate counsel for the Sierra Club, said.
In advance of his first foreign trip, President Barack Obama said yesterday that the United States will seek a more comprehensive, diplomatic approach to Afghanistan. "I am absolutely convinced that you cannot solve the problem of Afghanistan, the Taliban, the spread of extremism in that region solely through military means," he said in a White House interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Obama makes a day trip to Ottawa tomorrow, primarily for talks with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Beyond war, the agenda is likely to be dominated by the economy, trade, energy and the environment.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's daughter, an unwed mother, says teenagers should avoid having sex. But Bristol Palin, 18, acknowledges that abstinence is "not realistic at all." She commented during a two-part interview recorded for Fox News Channel's "On the Record. She gave birth Dec. 27 to a boy. The governor also appeared in the interview, recorded in Fairbanks. She said she was proud of her daughter, "wanting to take on an advocacy role and, you know, just let other girls know that this is - it's not the most ideal situation, but certainly, make the most of it," Sarah Palin said.