Coal-State Senator Launches Bill to Stop New EPA Carbon Proposal In Its Tracks

Mitch McConnell
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is facing a primary challenge on Super Tuesday. Facebook

A Republican lawmaker from coal-rich Kentucky introduced a bill in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday that attempts to block the Obama administration’s recent proposal to cut carbon emissions from U.S. power plants.

Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who represents Kentucky, called the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations a “dagger in the heart of the American middle class.” If passed, his legislation would require the agency to prove three criteria before it could advance its Clean Power Plan, Reuters reported.

McConnell said the U.S. Labor Secretary would need to confirm that the climate change rules will not lead to job losses, and the Congressional Budget Office, which provides independent economic and policy analyses, would have to prove that cutting carbon wouldn’t harm U.S. economic growth. The Department of Energy’s statistics arm would also have to demonstrate that the power plant restrictions won’t raise electricity prices -- as critics say they will.

McConnell’s bill comes after two House lawmakers from West Virginia, a major coal producer, said they plan to launch bipartisan legislation to stop the EPA’s carbon rules, according to Reuters.

The EPA’s plan aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the electricity sector by 30 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels, though states will have individual targets.

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