Fighting Back Against Administration’s Costly Power Plan
By Senator Mitch McConnell
November 6, 2015
Here we go again. The Obama Administration has fired its latest salvo in the War on Coal by publishing the final version of its so-called “Clean Power Plan”—regulations that would effectively shut down most coal-fired power plants and prevent new ones from being built.
These regulations would shrink our state’s economy by almost $2 billion. And they would hurt Kentucky workers and their families by raising electricity rates by double digits while cutting coal jobs across the state. What the administration is pushing for is not a Clean Power Plan, but a “Costly Power Plan” that will have no lasting impact on the environment.
That’s why I am using my position as Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate to fight back against President Obama and his bureaucrats at the EPA who have issued these regulations aimed at the heart of coal country. This summer, I was able to secure language in an Interior Appropriations bill that, if enacted, would halt this regulation.
More recently, I filed a bipartisan measure in the Senate under a procedure established by the Congressional Review Act (CRA). The CRA empowers Congress to overturn regulations issued by the executive branch with a simple majority vote. The CRA measure I filed would stop the Obama Administration from imposing on Kentuckians its anti-coal regulation for new coal-fired power plants.
I am also a proud cosponsor of another bipartisan Senate measure filed under the CRA that would block the so-called Clean Power Plan’s regulation pertaining to existing coal-fired plants. Together, these measures represent a comprehensive effort to fight back against the Obama Administration’s outrageous effort to cut jobs and hike electricity prices in Kentucky.
I’ve been fighting against this president’s hurtful policies, and this so-called Clean Power Plan in particular, since he first proposed it. Several months ago, I wrote a letter to every governor in the country suggesting that they take a responsible wait-and-see approach before subjecting the citizens of their states to unnecessary pain caused by complying with the government’s request for state implementation plans for these outrageous regulations.
I wrote this letter because there is a legitimate question as to whether the administration even has the authority under federal law to issue these regulations. Also encouraging is the fact that the administration, in recognition of the difficulty many states will have complying with this plan, is allowing states to seek a two-year delay to abide by it. President Obama will be out of office by then, and the next administration may not even continue forward on this disastrous route.
This tacit admission from the Obama Administration that its plan is unworkable proves that the pushback from states is making a difference. More than half the states have launched lawsuits to fight back against this ill-advised plan. I’m encouraged that Kentucky’s next governor, Matt Bevin, has already pledged he will not comply with these regulations.
I’m determined to continue the fight against the Obama Administration’s attack on Kentucky jobs. The administration’s lack of compassion for those being trampled by these massively regressive regulations is shocking. The path to pursuing the administration’s left-wing ideological agenda runs right over Kentucky coal miners and their families, who have done nothing to deserve it.
And remember: for all the damage this Costly Power Plan would inflict on the middle class, it’s not even expected to reduce global emissions in any meaningful way.
Tons of pain for almost no gain. That’s the Obama White House plan.
So the fight against the War on Coal continues. This fight will not be short or easy. But it’s essential to our livelihoods and our very way of life, and hard-working Kentuckians should know that I’m going to keep standing and fighting for them, no matter what the Obama Administration or their EPA throw at us.