By Timothy Cama - 06/02/14 11:44 AM EDT
Reps. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) and David McKinley (R-W.Va.) said they will introduce legislation to block the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed limits on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.
The congressmen said they want to stop the new rules from wreaking havoc on West Virginia’s economy. The state is highly dependent on coal for electricity and jobs.
Rahall is one of the most vulnerable Democrats in this year’s midterm elections. His opponent, West Virginia state Sen. Evan Jenkins (R), has sought to tie Rahall to Democratic and Obama administration policies that critics say harm the coal industry. Rahall has tried to push a pro-coal message.
Rahall spoke on the House floor last week to lambast the rules and their effects on coal.
But the National Republican Congressional Committee responded to Rahall Monday by pointing to a record that they say included endorsing Obama, despite his hostility toward coal, supporting a cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions and voting against a bill to allow Congress to stop EPA regulations.
Rahall’s bill would block both the rule proposed Monday and an earlier proposal to limit carbon emissions from newly built power plants.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is also planning to introduce a bill to block the rules.