Reid blocks McConnell's bill on EPA rule

 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) blocked Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) from passing his Coal Country Protection Act.

McConnell asked unanimous consent to pass his bill, S. 2414, which would require the administration to meet bench marks before the Environmental Protection Agency implements a carbon reduction plan for power plants, but Reid objected.

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“The rule will not become effective for a long time,” Reid said on the Senate floor Wednesday. “I know the importance of this issue, and I’ll be as cooperative as I feel is appropriate with the Republican leader. But at this time, I object.”

The EPA announced earlier this week that is would issue a new rule to reduce carbon emissions at power plants by 30 percent over 15 years. McConnell said this was just another part of President Obama’s “war on coal.”

McConnell is concerned that the new rule will cost his state jobs in the coal industry. He said there would create “lots of pain for minimal gain.”

"The president’s regulations will increase electricity prices and create job loss," McConnell said. “Opponents of this bill would be supporting job loss in Kentucky, our economy being hurt, and seniors’ energy bills spiking — for almost zero meaningful global carbon reduction."

McConnell’s bill would stop the administration from implementing the new rule until it can prove no jobs will be lost and that energy prices won’t increase. While Democrats control the Senate, it’s unlikely that his bill will receive a vote.