By Laura Barron-Lopez - 05/21/14 11:59 AM EDT
Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes flipped the script Wednesday on incumbent Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), blaming him for the Obama administration's coal rules.
After winning the Democratic primary Tuesday night, Grimes, who will now face McConnell in the general election, blamed the Republican for being in office when tough regulations hit the coal industry.
"It's on Mitch McConnell's watch, not mine, that we've lost thousands of coal jobs. It's on Mitch McConnell's watch, not mine, that we've gone without the necessary funding to implement clean coal technology. This election will be about holding you, Sen. McConnell, accountable for all that has happened on your watch," she said.
The EPA rules seek to limit carbon emissions from new and existing coal-fired power plants. The more controversial regulations are set to be proposed in early June.
McConnell has attempted to paint Grimes as being in lockstep with President Obama on the issues, especially coal.
But Grimes told the boisterous crowd not to believe a word that comes out of McConnell's mouth about her on energy.
"I don't agree with the president's war on coal. I think it's wrong for Kentucky," Grimes said. "As Kentucky's next U.S. senator, I will fight to make sure coal has a long-term place in our national energy policy, that we actually have the funding to implement clean coal technology, and we restore coal to its rightful place as a prime American export."
Grimes has also thrown her support behind building the Keystone XL pipeline, another contentious energy issue for the White House.