McConnell vows to raise 'war on coal' comment with Obama in meeting

McConnell is referring to comments to The New York Times from Daniel P. Schrag, a geochemist and member of the presidential science panel that counseled the White House on climate issues. 

“Politically, the White House is hesitant to say they’re having a war on coal. On the other hand, a war on coal is exactly what’s needed,” Schrag, who leads Harvard University's Center for the Environment, told the Times.

“It is an astonishing bit of honesty from someone that close to the White House, but it really encapsulates the attitude this administration holds,” McConnell said.

Power plants create roughly a third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Coal accounts for by far the largest share of power-sector carbon emissions, Environmental Protection Agency data shows.

Multiple Republicans took to the Senate floor Tuesday to bash Obama’s climate plan. But Senate Majority Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinOvernight Health Care: Trump officials defend changes to family planning program | Senators unveil bipartisan package on health costs | Democrats pass T spending bill with HHS funds Overnight Health Care: Trump officials defend changes to family planning program | Senators unveil bipartisan package on health costs | Democrats pass T spending bill with HHS funds Kushner meeting with senators to craft asylum deal MORE (D-Ill.) struck back at Republicans.

“I think the Republican approach is a war on science ... their position is also a war on public health,” Durbin said.

Ramsey Cox contributed.