WKU Public Radio News Staff
Mon June 2, 2014
McConnell and Grimes Blast New EPA Regulations on Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Both of Kentucky’s U.S. Senate candidates are denouncing new federal guidelines related to greenhouse gas emissions.
The Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday that power plants will have to reduce carbon emissions 30 percent by the year 2030.
While Republican Senator Mitch McConnell and Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes have exchanged harsh words about who is best to represent the commonwealth in Washington, they both believe the EPA’s first-ever limits on carbon pollution from power plants represent a federal overreach that will harm Kentucky’s economy.
Calling it a “national energy tax” imposed by the Obama Administration, Sen. McConnell said he will introduce legislation to block the new rules.
In a statement released to the media Monday by McConnell’s office, the Louisville Republican said the EPA regulations would lead to “higher costs, fewer jobs, and a less reliable energy grid.”
“The fact that the President plans to do all this through an end-run around Congress only highlights his contempt for the wishes of the public and a system of government that was devised precisely to restrain an action like today’s,” the statement from McConnell said.
In a statement released by Secretary Grimes, the Democratic Senate candidate said she would “fiercely oppose the President’s attack on Kentucky’s coal industry because protecting our jobs will be my number one priority.”
The Grimes campaign also announced it was buying newspaper ads in eastern and western Kentucky coal regions it says have been hurt by President Obama’s energy policies.
Showing a miner holding up a piece of coal, the ad says “President Obama and Washington Don’t Get It…Alison Grimes Does.”
The ad goes on to say that Grimes will work with both Democrats and Republicans in Washington to “save coal jobs.”
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in April that the EPA has the right to regulate coal pollution that crosses state lines.
The EPA plan officially announced Monday sets national targets of lowering greenhouse gases 25 percent by 2020, and 30 percent by 2030. The EPA says it will work with states to create individual programs for reducing emissions that will include diversifying fuels and energy efficiency programs.