Dems hit back at McConnell, ask states to follow climate rule

Dems hit back at McConnell, ask states to follow climate rule

A group of Democrats is dragging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSupreme Court comes to Trump's aid on immigration GOP group's ad calls on Graham to push for election security: 'Are you still trying?' Harris keeps up 'little dude' attack on Trump after debate MORE’s (R-Ky.) home turf into the fight over the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan.

Five Senate Democrats, led by Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseSenate GOP pledges to oppose any efforts to 'pack' Supreme Court Senate Democrats push Trump to permanently shutter migrant detention facility To cash in on innovation, remove market barriers for advanced energy technologies MORE (R.I.), penned a letter to the nation’s governors Tuesday saying that McConnell’s views on climate change are out of line with his own Kentucky constituents, and urging states to comply with the climate rule.

It's an effort to rebuff McConnell’s March op-ed encouraging states to opt out of writing their own regulations under the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed emissions reduction plan.

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The letter, first reported by Huffington Post, highlights a litany of Kentucky institutions — from universities to government agencies to a gas company — that either agree on the science behind climate change or support climate-change legislation. 

The University of Kentucky, the senators wrote, contends “there is almost no meaningful scientific controversy” over man-made climate change, while the University of Louisville encourages students and staff to “inform, inspire, and educate others about the climate change crisis.”

The letter also highlights Columbia Gas of Kentucky, a company that supports “reasonable policies addressing climate change.”

“Kentucky is already crafting its plan for complying with the Clean Power Plan,” the letter says. “The Commonwealth of Kentucky’s decision to work with the EPA and prepare a plan was based, according to the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, on what ’the overwhelming majority of our stakeholders are telling us.’” 

In additional to Whitehouse, Sens. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerHillicon Valley: Ocasio-Cortez clashes with former Dem senator over gig worker bill | Software engineer indicted over Capital One breach | Lawmakers push Amazon to remove unsafe products Ocasio-Cortez blasts former Dem senator for helping Lyft fight gig worker bill Only four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates MORE (D-Calif.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenYoung insurgents aren't rushing to Kennedy's side in Markey fight Biden's debate performance renews questions of health On The Money: Democratic candidates lay into Trump on trade | China exempts US soybeans, pork from tariff hikes | Congress set to ignore Trump's wall request in stopgap measure MORE (D-Mass.), Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenPoliticon announces lineup including Comey, Hannity, Priebus Scarlett Johansson defends Woody Allen: 'I believe him' Trump mocks Gillibrand after exit: 'She was the one I was really afraid of!' MORE (D-Minn.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersYoung insurgents aren't rushing to Kennedy's side in Markey fight Biden's debate performance renews questions of health Saagar Enjeti rips Harris's 'empty promises' MORE (I-Vt.) signed the letter.

The proposed Clean Power Plan aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030 by setting reduction targets for states, which then write their own plans for meeting those goals.

McConnell wrote an op-ed in a Kentucky newspaper last month encouraging states to refuse to conform to the plan, which he called “unfair” and “probably illegal." The GOP Senate leader warned the plan was too costly and likely to fall in the face of lawsuits.