House Speaker John Boehner warned that President Barack Obama was waging a "crusade" against affordable energy after the United States and China reached agreement Wednesday on curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
"This announcement is yet another sign that the president intends to double down on his job-crushing policies no matter how devastating the impact for America's heartland and the country as a whole," Boehner said after Obama and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping inked a landmark agreement at a summit in Beijing.
"It is the latest example of the president's crusade against affordable, reliable energy that is already hurting jobs and squeezing middle-class families."
Boehner was quickly joined by the Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who said he was "particularly distressed" by the deal, which sees the two global powers achieve breakthrough cooperation in the fight against climate change.
"I read the agreement requires the Chinese to do nothing at all for 16 years while these carbon emission regulations are creating havoc in my state and other states around the country," McConnell told reporters as he met with newly elected Republican senators.
The assessments mark the sharpened tip of the Republican Party spear in the battle over climate change in the US Congress, where Republicans will control both chambers beginning January 3 after Obama's Democrats suffered humiliation at the midterm polls last week.
Outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hailed the US-China pact as one that could "spur other countries" to join in the climate change fight.
"The historic announcement... is exactly what is needed to ensure that America's efforts to clean up our energy supply are replicated around the world," Reid said.
Boehner noted how the House of Representatives passed several bills to "rein in" the Environmental Protection Agency's regulations on carbon emissions and other energy issues.
The legislation stalled in the Democratic-held Senate, but with Republicans taking over, Obama may be confronted with energy legislation that reaches his desk next year.