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 McConnellSchumer: Trump's team made case for new witnesses 'even stronger' Trump, Democrats risk unintended consequences with impeachment arguments CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group 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 WhitehouseDemocrats urge Supreme Court to save consumer agency from chopping block Citizens United decision weathers 10 years of controversy Sanders defends vote against USMCA: 'Not a single damn mention' of climate change 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 BoxerFormer Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer joins DC lobbying firm Hillicon 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 MORE (D-Calif.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenDes Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Sanders faces lingering questions about appeal to women voters Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for week two of impeachment trial MORE (D-Mass.), Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenBill Press: Don't forget about Amy Key moments in the 2020 Democratic presidential race so far Al Franken mocks McConnell: 'Like listening to Jeffrey Dahmer complain about the decline of dinner party etiquette' MORE (D-Minn.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Des Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Sanders faces lingering questions about appeal to women voters 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.