By Ramsey Cox
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (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.
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 Durbin (D-Ill.) countered that the United States must lead in order to convince those other countries to also reduce emissions.