Quantcast

Mitch McConnell's Pro-Coal Response Bill to Obama's Carbon Plan Struck Down

Energy

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnnell (R-KY) surprised nobody with the bill he introduced Wednesday in response to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy's detailing of President Barack Obama's plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions across the country.

McConnell's measure would have blocked the regulations within Obama's proposal. It would have also provided the Senate minority leader a key piece of legislation for his November re-election bid, enabling him to discuss all the jobs he saved for his coal-reliant state.

McConnell will likely still say all of that, but won't have the accompaniment of his "Coal Country Protection Act." That's because U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid blocked McConnell's call for "immediate consideration" of the bill.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell wanted a quick vote on a bill to protect the coal industry, but it didn't happen.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

“President Obama’s new energy regulations would ship middle class jobs overseas, splinter our manufacturing base and boost energy costs for struggling families," McConnell claimed on the Senate floor.

"The president’s energy regulations would hurt the poor, the unemployed, seniors, and especially families in Kentucky."

Reid followed that by reminding McConnell that there is a lengthy public comment period on the EPA plan. States will also have two-to-three years to submit final plans after the EPA's proposal is finalized.

However, it's true that McConnell's state will have a tougher time reducing carbon emissions than others. Kentucky gets a whopping 95 percent of its energy from coal plants. Those plants are clearly a vital part of the economy, but reducing the emissions that come from a state so reliant on coal would preserve the health of the workforce, regardless the industry residents are employed by.

Still, McConnell says 7,000 coal-sector jobs have been lost since Obama took office. That's not all the president's fault, though. Coal plants become more expensive to maintain as they age, making it an industry few want to continue investing in.

Bloomberg's map of retiring plants show that coal closures will take place in nearly every state, but that can't be attributed to those with different political beliefs than McConnell. After all, solar energy didn't capture 74 percent of all new electricity capacity during this year's first quarter because it's a bad investment. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy reported earlier this year that solar energy is 60 percent of the way to achieving the $0.06-per-kilowatt-hour target set for 2020.

——–

YOU ALSO MIGHT LIKE

How Much Carbon Do Your State’s Coal Plants Emit?

Why Investing in Aging Coal Plants is a Losing Bet

——–

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Wesley Martinez Da Costa / EyeEm / Getty Images

By David R. Montgomery

Would it sound too good to be true if I was to say that there was a simple, profitable and underused agricultural method to help feed everybody, cool the planet, and revitalize rural America? I used to think so, until I started visiting farmers who are restoring fertility to their land, stashing a lot of carbon in their soil, and returning healthy profitability to family farms. Now I've come to see how restoring soil health would prove as good for farmers and rural economies as it would for the environment.

Read More Show Less
skaman306 / Moment / Getty Images

By Jillian Kubala, MS, RD

Radish (Raphanus sativus) is a cruciferous vegetable that originated in Asia and Europe (1Trusted Source).

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Tinnakorn Jorruang / iStock / Getty Images

By Dan Nosowitz

The budding research on cannabidiol, or CBD, attracts a great deal of interest in the agricultural field.

Read More Show Less
Oksana Khodakovskaia / iStock / Getty Images

By Jillian Kubala, MS, RD

The loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) is a tree native to China that's prized for its sweet, citrus-like fruit.

Read More Show Less

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released new numbers that show vaping-related lung illnesses are continuing to grow across the country, as the number of fatalities has climbed to 33 and hospitalizations have reached 1,479 cases, according to a CDC update.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
During the summer, the Arctic tundra is usually a thriving habitat for mammals such as the Arctic fox. Education Images / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Reports of extreme snowfall in the Arctic might seem encouraging, given that the region is rapidly warming due to human-driven climate change. According to a new study, however, the snow could actually pose a major threat to the normal reproductive cycles of Arctic wildlife.

Read More Show Less
Vegan rice and garbanzo beans meals. Ella Olsson / Pexels

By Alina Petre, MS, RD (CA)

One common concern about vegan diets is whether they provide your body with all the vitamins and minerals it needs.

Many claim that a whole-food, plant-based diet easily meets all the daily nutrient requirements.

Read More Show Less
A fracking well looms over a residential area of Liberty, Colorado on Aug. 19. WildEarth Guardians / Flickr

A new multiyear study found that people living or working within 2,000 feet, or nearly half a mile, of a hydraulic fracturing (fracking) drill site may be at a heightened risk of exposure to benzene and other toxic chemicals, according to research released Thursday by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE)

Read More Show Less