Commonwealth Journal

News Live

June 2, 2014

Kentucky bristles at EPA regs

McConnell: ‘A dagger in the heart of American middle class’

Washington, D.C. —

FRANKFORT — The Obama administration Monday released long awaited and, in Kentucky, much feared, new regulations designed to lower the nation’s carbon emissions by 30 percent and particulate matter by 25 percent by 2030.
The rules are a response to growing evidence of climate change and studies which show carbon and particulate matter contribute to higher rates of disease and mortality. Critics and supporters alike are calling it one of the strongest environmental actions ever taken by the U.S. government.
The new rules didn’t get much applause in coal-reliant Kentucky.
Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, who accuses President Barack Obama of waging “a war on coal,” characterized the announcement by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy “a dagger in the heart of the American middle class and to representative democracy itself.” He promised to introduce legislation to overturn the new rules but conceded it has little chance in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
His Democratic opponent in this year’s senate race, Alison Lundergan Grimes, pounced on Obama too.
“President Obama’s new EPA rule is more proof that Washington isn’t working for Kentucky,” said Grimes in a statement, calling the rules “the president’s attack on Kentucky’s coal industry.”
Kentucky Coal Association President Bill Bissett called them “very bad news for states like Kentucky who mine and use coal to create electricity.” He said it will cost jobs and lead to higher electrical bills for consumers.
“If these rules are allowed to go into effect, the administration for all intents and purposes, is creating America’s next energy crisis,” said Mike Duncan, Inez banker, McConnell ally and head of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.
The country has already reduced carbon emissions by roughly 10 percent since 2005, primarily through greater use of natural gas. The 30 percent goal is a national target and individual states will be given individual goals based on their particular circumstances.

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