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 McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - Dem candidates sell policy as smart politics Overnight Defense: Trump ends sanctions waivers for buying Iranian oil | At least four Americans killed in Sri Lanka attacks | Sanders pushes for Yemen veto override vote McConnell: 'Time to move on' from Trump impeachment talk 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 WhitehouseHillicon Valley: Washington preps for Mueller report | Barr to hold Thursday presser | Lawmakers dive into AI ethics | FCC chair moves to block China Mobile | Dem bill targets 'digital divide' | Microsoft denies request for facial recognition tech Dems introduce bill to tackle 'digital divide' Senators press drug industry 'middlemen' over high prices 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 BoxerOnly four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates Hispanic civil rights icon endorses Harris for president California AG Becerra included in Bloomberg 50 list MORE (D-Calif.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenJulián Castro: Trump should be impeached for trying to obstruct justice 'in very concrete ways' Poll: Biden tops Sanders nationally Pete Buttigieg: 'God doesn't have a political party' MORE (D-Mass.), Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenWinners and losers from first fundraising quarter Election analyst says Gillibrand doesn't have 'horsepower to go the full distance' Gillibrand campaign links low fundraising to Al Franken backlash: memo MORE (D-Minn.) and Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersAndrew Cuomo: Biden has best chance at 'main goal' of beating Trump Poll: Buttigieg tops Harris, O'Rourke as momentum builds Buttigieg responds to accusation of pushing a 'hate hoax' about Pence 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.