Tags: Mitch McConnell. Kentucky | gas | coal | Obama

McConnell Fires Up His Battle Against Obama's 'War on Coal'

McConnell Fires Up His Battle Against Obama's 'War on Coal'
(Yuri Gripas/Reuters/Landov)

Friday, 20 March 2015 08:31 AM

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has launched an unprecedented campaign in state legislatures and courthouses across the country to stop President Barack Obama's "war on coal."

The Kentucky Republican is planning to bring down a series of Environmental Protection Agency proposals aimed at slashing carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants, a major contributor to the nation's high levels of greenhouse gas emissions, according to The New York Times.

The senator sent out a letter on Thursday to all the governors containing detailed legal advice on the reasons why states should not confirm to Obama's rules, while warning them that the president was "allowing the EPA to wrest control of a state's energy policy."

The new regulations could result in the closure of hundreds of coal-fired plants and the loss of thousands of jobs, as Obama continues his controversial policy of switching the country's dependence on fossil fuels to power sources he believes are less damaging to climate change, namely wind and solar energy.

In the rare event of a majority leader leading a lobbying battle in Washington, McConnell is championing the fight against the regulations because his state is one of the leading coal-producing regions in the country and could lose countless jobs.

"The EPA is bypassing Congress and the American people by unilaterally proposing these crippling regulations that would wreak havoc on our economy and are clearly unprecedented," McConnell told the Times.

"I have used and will continue to use all of the tools available to protect families and jobs, whether that be in Congress, or outside of the legislative process."

As Obama gears up for an international talks in Paris later this year to address the global crisis on greenhouse gas emissions, Obama set an example to other nations Thursday by declaring that the government would reduce its own toxic carbon footprint 40 percent in the next decade.

While the president plans to reach an agreement with other nations on carbon pollution limits at the meeting, McConnell hopes to show world leaders that Obama will not even be able to follow through with his battle against climate change in his own backyard, according to the Times.

To help prevent the alleged warming of the planet, the new EPA rules will require each state to submit an individual plan for reducing emissions from power plants. Coal-mining companies and coal-producing states are already preparing to take on the Obama administration with a series of court cases.

In his battle inside state capitols and federal courtrooms, McConnell's fight depends on a legal brief prepared for Peabody Energy, the nation's largest coal producer, drawn up by Laurence Tribe, an expert in constitutional law at Harvard Law School and a former mentor of Obama's, the Times noted.

Tribe argues that Obama's use of the Clean Air Act for his new climate change regulations is unconstitutional, alleging that the government is exceeding its authority by forcing states to change their energy supply from coal to renewable energy sources.

The Times made a point of revealing that Peabody Energy was the fourth-largest contributor to McConnell during his political career, and the senator's office keeps in close contact with the company.

During his election campaign last year in Kentucky towns already devastated by cutbacks in coal use due to costly current regulations, McConnell vowed that he would fight Obama's "war on coal" and save hundreds of jobs in the state.

However, the administration has hit back at McConnell while warning that the effects of the alleged overheating of the planet due to greenhouse gas emissions could be disastrous for future generations.

"Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges that we face, and instead of offering solutions, Senator McConnell's alternative is an inappropriate and unfounded attempt to dictate state decisions," said spokesman Frank Benenati.

"EPA is following the law by proposing clean-air standards to tackle the largest sources of carbon pollution — the power sector," he said.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has launched an unprecedented campaign in state legislatures and courthouses across the country to stop President Barack Obama's "war on coal."
Mitch McConnell. Kentucky, gas, coal, Obama
Friday, 20 March 2015 08:31 AM
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