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Thursday, January 16, 2014

McConnell To Force Vote on EPA's Anti Coal Regulations

Apparently the Senate Minority leader has a pen and telephone also. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) launched an effort to block new Environmental Protection Agency regulations designed to kill the coal industry using a little known Senate rule which guarantees a vote that cannot be filibustered.

The law allows Congress to review, by means of an expedited legislative process, new federal regulations issued by the government agencies and, by passage of a joint resolution, to overrule a regulation. McConnell filing sets that process in motion for the new EPA coal regulations, which would would effectively ban coal-fired power plants from being built in the future.
Kentucky is facing a real crisis here. The Obama Administration appears to be sending signals that its latest regulation is just the beginning in a new, expanded front in its War on Coal. Already, the Administration’s regulations have played a significant role in causing coal jobs in my state to plummet. These are good jobs that pay more than $1 billion in annual wages to my constituents. And for every miner with a job, three more Kentuckians will hold a coal-dependent job too,” Senator McConnell said. “That’s why I – along with about 40 Republican cosponsors, including my friend and fellow Kentuckian Rand Paul – intend to file a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to ensure a vote to stop this devastating rule.

McConnell added:
The head of the EPA, who will be testifying on this regulation today, basically admitted as much herself when she called it a ‘significant economic lift.

She knows that the technology this regulation requires is prohibitively expensive – that her own agency knows it’s nowhere near ready for adoption, that even some White House officials do not believe her plan is feasible – and that that’s the point.

 The point here is to eliminate coal jobs in America.

 That’s why I wasn’t surprised by emails that recently came to light – emails which appear to show EPA officials colluding with extremist special interests in devising impossible-to-achieve regulations.
The Minority leader is referring to a story in the Washington Beacon which reveals internal EPA emails that prove extensive collaboration between top agency officials and leading environmentalist groups, including overt efforts to coordinate messaging and pressure the fossil fuel industry.
The emails, obtained by the Energy and Environment Legal Institute (EELI) through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, could fuel an ongoing controversy over EPA policies that critics say are biased against traditional sources of energy.

Emails show EPA used official events to help environmentalist groups gather signatures for petitions on agency rulemaking, incorporated advance copies of letters drafted by those groups into official statements, and worked with environmentalists to publicly pressure executives of at least one energy company.

Nancy Grantham, director of public affairs for EPA Region 1, which covers New England, asked an organizer for the Sierra Club’s New Hampshire chapter to share the group’s agenda so EPA could adjust its messaging accordingly in an email dated March 12, 2012.

“If you could, it would great [sic] if you can send me an email describing what you would like to do in early April in NH–that way I can coordinate messaging with our air offices here and at HQ,” Grantham wrote.

Critics of the agency and its nonprofit allies were surprised by the cooperation.

“The level of coordination in these documents is shocking,” EELI said in a statement.
While the President can veto the resolution if passed, this will put members of Congress on record as supporting a industry which is a key jobs provider in America or supporting a global warming theory which recent science shows is untrue.

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