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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 McConnellPelosi mum on when House will send impeachment article to Senate Democratic senator: COVID-19 relief is priority over impeachment trial The Hill's Morning Report - Biden asks Congress to expand largest relief response in U.S. history 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 WhitehouseSenior Democrat says Hawley, Cruz should step down from Judiciary Hawley, Cruz face rising anger, possible censure This week: Democrats barrel toward Trump impeachment after Capitol attack 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 BoxerTrump administration halting imports of cotton, tomatoes from Uighur region of China Biden inaugural committee to refund former senator's donation due to foreign agent status Questions and answers about the Electoral College challenges MORE (D-Calif.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenPorter loses seat on House panel overseeing financial sector OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Nine, including former Michigan governor, charged over Flint water crisis | Regulator finalizes rule forcing banks to serve oil, gun companies | Trump admin adds hurdle to increase efficiency standards for furnaces, water heaters DeVos mulled unilateral student loan forgiveness as COVID-19 wracked economy: memo MORE (D-Mass.), Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenHarrison seen as front-runner to take over DNC at crucial moment The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump, Biden clash over transition holdup, pandemic plans The Hill's Morning Report - Fearing defeat, Trump claims 'illegal' ballots MORE (D-Minn.) and Bernie SandersBernie Sanders'Almost Heaven, West Virginia' — Joe Manchin and a 50-50 Senate Biden to seek minimum wage in COVID-19 proposal Former Sanders spokesperson: Progressives 'shouldn't lose sight' of struggling Americans during pandemic 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.