Among the early targets for Republicans as they take over Senate control in January will be turning back the Obama administration's environmental policy on coal, The Hill reports.
The Environmental Protection Agency's attempts to regulate carbon dioxide emitted from coal-fired power plants will face deep review as the new Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hails from coal-industry stronghold Kentucky, where environmental fears were stoked on the campaign trail during the recent midterm race.
He has pledged to "rein in" the EPA, which has set harsh new regulations for newly built and existing power plants that some think will penalize the U.S. not only at home with jobs, but also in the global economy as coal remains a viable energy source around the world, The Hill noted.
McConnell, in an interview a day after defeating Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, told the Lexington Herald-Leader that he will fight the administration's "war on coal" and says he'll make it a priority once he takes control.
"It makes me very angry, and I'm going to do everything I can to try to stop them," he said.
"I'm absolutely convinced from the people I talk to around the country, not just here but around the country, that coal has a future," McConnell told the Herald-Leader. "The question is whether or not coal is going to have a future here. It's got a future in Europe. It's got a future in China, India, Australia. But not here?"
Some view the likely change
in environmental policy in Washington with trepidation.
Noted National Geographic of the looming political fight: "An alignment of the newly empowered McConnell and fellow Republican leaders — who either openly doubt scientists' findings that human industry has heated the planet, or contend that curbing carbon emissions into the Earth's atmosphere isn't worth the potential cost of lost jobs — is likely to create the most hostile political environment ever for addressing climate change in Washington."
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