McConnell Launches Preemptive Strike On Obama EPA Regulations

May 30, 2014

Sen. Mitch McConnell is going on the offensive ahead of an Obama administration announcement detailing new regulations for power plants Monday.

With EPA chief Gina McCarthy slated to unveil a proposal for the nation's first ever carbon emissions limits on existing power plants early next week, an issue that has long simmered on the back burner is likely to reach a boiling point this summer.

President Obama spoke with CNBC earlier this month, following the release of a White House report urging action on climate change, saying, "This is not some distant problem of the future. This is a problem that's affecting Americans right now, whether it means increased flooding, greater vulnerability to drought, more severe wildfires."

But Sen. McConnell is launching a preemptive strike on the proposed regulations, which he describes as just the latest salvo in the administration’s “war on coal.” It’s a theme he sounded last year while introducing a bill that would prevent the EPA from regulating carbon emissions.

"We have a genuine emergency in Kentucky, a depression in Eastern Kentucky, as a result of what this administration has done and is about to further do," McConnell said in floor speech last September.

In an email statement released Friday, the senator promises to introduce similar legislation in response to the new regulations.

While Senate hopeful Alison Lundergan Grimes’ campaign has yet to release a statement on the rules, the candidate has also been highly critical of EPA efforts to further regulate the industry.