By Timothy Cama - 06/02/14 11:08 AM EDT
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellOvernight Healthcare: Momentum on mental health? | Zika bills head to conference | Only 10 ObamaCare co-ops left Trump outlines ‘America First’ energy plan Senators hope for deal soon on mental health bill MORE (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.
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.).