So the Obama administration lobbed another bomb in its war on coal, today – mandating a 30 percent cut in carbon emissions at fossil fuel-burning power plants by 2030.
Critics estimate the regulation will cost nearly a quarter-million jobs a year and say it will force plants across the country to close.
The controversial regulation, which some lawmakers already are trying to block, is one of the most sweeping efforts to tackle global warming by this or any other administration.
Republicans are tripping over each other to condemn the job-killing measures.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who represents Kentucky, called it a “dagger in the heart of the American middle class” — and predicted higher power costs and less reliable energy as a result.
House Speaker John Boehner called the plan “nuts.”
“The president’s plan is nuts. There’s really no more succinct way to describe it,” Boehner said in a statement shortly after the new rule was released.
In his statement, Boehner framed the plan in terms Republicans will likely repeat over and over again heading into the 2014 midterm elections. He called it a “national energy tax.”
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas fired off a press release lambasting the “job-killing” regulations:
“The new EPA rules announced by the Obama Administration will cripple the coal industry and deprive Americans from jobs, whether they are employed by coal mines or related power plants, or employed in energy dependent business such as manufacturing or technology businesses,” said Sen. Cruz.
“These rules will not only drive up electric bills, but also threaten the reliability of the nation’s electric grid and make it harder for American manufactures to compete in the world market. Once again, President Obama is more concerned with the desires of billionaire campaign contributors and placating extremist special interests than helping American workers and families escape the failed Obama economy. The legislation I introduced earlier this year, the American Energy Renaissance Act would specifically halt these job-killing regulations and encourage the creation of good-paying energy jobs.”
Michigan’s Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, Terri Lynn Land issued the following statement:
My top priority is Michigan jobs. Today, President Obama released an enormous regulatory attack on coal, which produces 54% of Michigan’s electricity. This rule could cost us 224,000 American jobs, shrink our economy by $50 billion a year, and increase monthly electric bills for families and manufacturers for the next 15 years.
Experts have only just begun to dive into this giant and costly regulation, but the one thing that is clear is that President Obama is continuing to advance his “War on Michigan.”
I will fight this proposal at every turn in the U.S. Senate and call on Congressman Peters to oppose these regulations instead of selling out Michigan jobs for his radical environmental agenda and the support of the California billionaire who is bankrolling his campaign.
The new regulations have put vulnerable Democrat candidates in coal producing states in an awkward position, to say the least.
Kentucky Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, for instance, spoke out against the plan, even as she plans to fund-raise later this week with one of Obama’s top lieutenants in the War on Coal.
“President Obama’s new EPA rule is more proof that Washington isn’t working for Kentucky. Coal keeps the lights on in the Commonwealth, providing a way for thousands of Kentuckians to put food on their tables. When I’m in the U.S. Senate, I will fiercely oppose the President’s attack on Kentucky’s coal industry because protecting our jobs will be my number one priority,” Grimes said on Monday morning.
According to her spokeswoman, Grimes is “absolutely livid about the new rule.”
But she will be attending a fund-raiser with Senate Majority Leader Harry “Coal Makes Us Sick” Reid this Thursday. Reid, of course, fully supports the new EPA regulations:
“Addressing climate change, cutting pollution, and creating jobs through clean energy is the right thing to do, and we need a national policy to put our country on the right course to achieve these goals. Our planet, our children and seniors, and our public health will be greatly strengthened by the EPA’s protections,” Reid said.
Senate Energy Committee Chairman Mary Landrieu (D-LA) put out a statement, this afternoon, but only to assert that carbon emissions regulations should be made by Congress.
Via The Hill:
“While it is important to reduce carbon in the atmosphere, this should not be achieved by EPA regulations. Congress should set the terms, goals and timeframe,” she said. “I will work with leaders of both parties to build on the progress we have already made.”
Her main GOP rival, Rep. Bill Cassidy, in an earlier statement charged that the new rule was another example of Landrieu’s ineffectiveness, despite her Senate seniority.
“It’s easy for Senator Landrieu to claim she supports Louisiana’s energy economy in press releases but the facts say different,” said John Cummins, Cassidy’s campaign spokesman, in a release. “Under Senator Landrieu’s watch, EPA regulations have proliferated, the Keystone pipeline has died and drilling on federal lands has actually decreased.”
“There is a right way and a wrong way of doing things, and the Obama Administration has got it wrong once again,” Rahall said in a statement. “This new regulation threatens our economy and does so with an apparent disregard for the livelihoods of our coal miners and thousands of families throughout West Virginia.”