Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate passes 0B defense bill Overnight Health Care: New GOP ObamaCare repeal bill gains momentum Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea MORE (R-Ky.) said President Obama’s proposed power plant emissions regulation is an attempt to make “privileged elitists” feel like something is being done to fight climate change.

“The point of this whole exercise is sadly obvious: it’s not really about science or global warming at all. It’s about making privileged elitists — elitists who may not feel the pinch of a higher utility bill or the pain of a lost job — feel like they ‘did something,’ ” McConnell said on the Senate floor Tuesday.

On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency announced a new rule that would force power plants to reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent over 15 years.

McConnell said the regulation was Obama’s latest blow in his “war on coal jobs.”

“I’m going to keep vigorously fighting against the Obama administration’s continued war on coal jobs and this extreme, anti-middle class national energy tax in particular,” McConnell said. 

He said he’s introducing a bill that would require the administration to meet benchmarks before the rule could take place, including ensuring no jobs would be lost or that energy costs would increase.

"I’m introducing legislation, the Coal Country Protection Act, that would push back against the president’s extreme anti-coal scheme," McConnell said. "It would require that simple but important benchmarks be met before his rules could take effect."

McConnell has said the regulation would harm his state’s economy and result in job losses at coal power plants across the country. He said it wouldn’t even positively affect the environment because India and China continue to produce more pollutants.

Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions Senate passes 0B defense bill MORE (D-Ill.) countered that the United States must lead in order to convince those other countries to also reduce emissions.