McConnell: EPA proposal ‘dagger in the heart’ of middle class

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) lambasted the Obama administration’s proposed regulation to limit carbon emissions from power plants, saying the middle class will bear the brunt of the rules.

“Today’s announcement is a dagger in the heart of the American middle class, and to representative democracy itself,” he said, referring to Obama’s decision to use his executive authority without Congress.

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“Already reeling from the painful effects of Obamacare, the American people are now being told they have to shoulder the burdens of the president’s latest ‘solution’ in the form of higher costs, fewer jobs and a less reliable energy grid,” McConnell said.

McConnell is facing a tough reelection fight in Kentucky, which relies heavily on coal for both its electricity and its economy. The rules are expected to impact the coal industry the most, as coal-fired power plants have the highest carbon emissions rate in the electricity sector.

McConnell’s opponent, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, is also running on a pro-coal platform. Grimes said the EPA rule shows “Washington isn’t working for Kentucky,” citing coal’s role in the state’s economy.

“When I'm in the U.S. Senate, I will fiercely oppose the president’s attack on Kentucky’s coal industry because protecting our jobs will be my number one priority.”

Last week, McConnell pledged to propose legislation that would block the power plant rules.

McConnell joined numerous other Republicans Monday in blasting the rules, including Reps. Fred Upton (Mich.) and Ed Whitfield (Ky.) and Sen. David Vitter (La.).