Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) wrote an op-ed for the KyForward website published on Sunday, praising President Donald Trump’s recent executive orders to roll back regulations the Barack Obama administration put is place in the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) regulation and the Clean Power Plan.
At the beginning of this year, I sent a letter to then President-elect Trump urging him to work with Congress and use his executive authority to provide regulatory relief to Kentucky coal miners and their families. [Trump] stepped in to offer a much-needed reprieve from the so-called Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) regulation, which tried to extend the reach of the federal bureaucracy into nearly every pothole, ditch, and puddle in America.
McConnell went on to laud another executive order signed by Trump in March “that sought to close existing coal plants and prevent new ones from ever being built,” McConnell wrote, referring to the president’s order to review the Clean Power Plan.
McConnell said he believed the Obama administration had “overstepped its legal authority,” and in a letter he sent to state governors, he urged them to hold off on implementing the plan until the courts ruled on challenges to it.
“In response to my call for action, 27 states joined to fight to overturn Obama’s energy regulatory scheme, and the Supreme Court issued an unprecedented nationwide halt,” McConnell wrote. “It was a critical judicial rebuke that provided President Trump with time to review the regulations.”
McConnell said Trump’s actions will help “struggling coal communities.” He wrote:
President Trump’s executive orders give us the opportunity to send federal bureaucrats back to the drawing board on both these, and other, harmful regulations. With these executive actions, President Trump has answered my call — and, more importantly, the call of millions of Americans — to overturn some of the most harmful Obama regulations and help struggling coal communities.
“My administration is putting an end to the war on coal,” Trump said in a speech at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prior to signing the executive order on reviewing the Clean Power Plan.
EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, and Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke were on hand for the event.
“Our nation can’t run on pixie dust and hope,” Zinke said during his remarks. “The last eight years showed that.”
“I am proud to stand united with the president to defend Kentucky’s middle class and coal communities from the previous Administration’s executive overreach, and I look forward to continuing to work with President Trump to support them going forward,” McConnell concluded.