GOP lawmaker slams Obama for 'war on coal'

Rep. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) slammed President Obama for a "war on coal" in the Republican weekly address Saturday.

The GOP weekly address zoned in on Obama's energy policies, primarily his signature climate regulation, days before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launches its public hearings across the U.S.

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Daines, who is challenging Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.) for his Senate seat this year, called the administration's carbon pollution rules "job killing regulations on the industries that hold the most hope for our economic future."

"President Obama is waging a war on the middle class, and Harry Reid’s Senate is fully complicit and eager to carry out the President’s job-killing agenda," Daines said. 

The regulations, which were first unveiled on June 2, mandate states cut carbon emissions from existing power plants 30 percent by 2030 from 2005.

Daines credited his home state for lowering utility costs, and revitalizing the economy by utilizing all its energy sector has to offer.

"Yet President Obama has spearheaded a war on American energy that not only stands in the way of the potential—it works to reverse it," he said. 

Daines stressed the impact the EPA's carbon pollution rules would have on Montana, specifically the Crow Indian Reservation, "which is home to some of the richest coal reserves."

The Montana lawmaker recounted a discussion he had with the chairman of the Crow reservation, who told him that "a war on coal is a war on the Crow people of Montana."

Throughout the GOP address, Daines points the finger directly at Obama and the Senate for impeding energy production that he says would help boost the economy.

It's a refrain Republicans will push hard in the last week before the August recess as a crucial pillar of Obama's climate change legacy goes under the microscope. From EPA's public meetings, to hearings in the Senate and House, and events across Capitol Hill next week, the administration and GOP will clash in a battle over climate change.