Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell warned voters in his home state of Kentucky Tuesday that President Obama’s push to combat climate change will crush the state’s coal industry.
Mr. McConnell, a Republican up for re-election next year, wrote in an op-ed that appeared in the Hazard Herald that Mr. Obama is “waging a war on coal” that will kill jobs and increase energy prices on Americans who are living paycheck-to-paycheck.
“Even in the best of times, declaring a war on coal and imposing a national energy tax would be a bad idea. But in an era of unacceptably high unemployment, launching a war on coal is mind boggling,” Mr. McConnell said. “The president may as well call his war on coal what it is: a war on jobs in this country, and a plan to ship jobs overseas.”
Mr. Obama started to revive his climate change agenda last week, announcing during a speech at Georgetown University that he will direct the Environmental Protection Agency to draft rules to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new and existing power plants.
“There are no federal limits to the amount of carbon pollution that those plants can pump into our air, none, zero,” Mr. Obama said. “We limit the amount of toxic chemicals like mercury and sulfur and arsenic in our air or our water, but power plants can still dump unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into the air for free. That’s not right, that’s not safe, and it needs to stop.”
Mr. McConnell learned Monday that he will face off against Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, a Democrat.
The Republican congratulated Ms. Grimes on entering the race and accused her of supporting Mr. Obama’s war on the coal industry.
In announcing her candidacy, Ms. Grimes distanced herself from Mr. Obama, who lost Kentucky by 22 points to Mitt Romney in the 2012 election.
“We cannot change who our president is,” she said. “But we can change who we have in Washington representing Kentucky.”