'We know there's a considerable appetite among Democrats to inflict huge economic harm on American workers and American families, just so we can better comply with this new 'green' religion. But here's the good news for my constituents in Kentucky and for hardworking Americans across the nation: Senate Republicans are on the case, and we won't let far-left fashions take precedence over the common good of our country.'
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks Thursday on the Senate floor regarding Democrats' attempt to revive an Obama-era anti-coal regulation:
"I've been discussing this week how Washington Democrats have sought for three years to effectively nullify the Trump presidency. They've tried to cancel out the voters' decision in 2016 and dodge the consequences of Secretary Clinton's defeat — whether through the three-year-old impeachment parade that House Democrats have been leading or through the unprecedented delays and obstruction visited on the president's nominations here in the Senate.
"Well, today, our Democratic colleagues will mount yet another effort to fire up the time machine. They want to move forward legislation that would undo a major regulatory reform success story of the Trump administration and re-open the Obama administration's disastrous 'war on coal.'
"Specifically, they want to try and revive the so-called 'Clean Power Plan,' a dangerous, misguided policy that the Trump administration has rightly done away with. We'll be voting on their resolution later today.
"The basic facts haven't changed since this job-killing scheme was first put forward in 2014. This relic of the Obama administration would have further buried the producers of affordable American energy under a mountain of stifling red tape. It would have created overlapping local, state, and federal standards, unrealistic compliance deadlines, and set up Washington bureaucracy that was effectively rooting for American energy to fail.
"It's no wonder that by one analysis, at least 125,000 jobs would have been on the chopping block had President Obama gotten his way. Workers in my state know better than anyone the true costs of the last administration's misguided War on Coal. Kentucky workers know what happens when plants that create jobs and generate affordable electricity at the same time are shut down.
"That's why I have been proud to lead the fight ending the regulatory 'War on Coal' and why I wrote every governor in the country in 2015 raising my concerns about the Obama Administration's dangerous 'Clean Power Plan' scheme. Because even today, nearly three years into an administration that is not at war with American energy, Kentucky miners continue to feel the effects of those policies.
"We also know that the full effects of the Clean Power Plan would have stretched far beyond coal country. The ripples of this harmful proposal would have been felt across the country by Americans paying their power bills.
"One independent report predicted that consumers in 40 states including Kentucky would have seen double-digit percentage increases in their electricity costs. And by Obama officials' own admission, the proposal would have hit low-income and minority communities the hardest. Let me say that again, low-income and minority populations would be hit hardest by the double-digit electricity bill increases in 4 of every 5 states. That is quite a rap sheet for a federal policy.
"In a nation where carbon emissions have already been trending downward, this proposal would have sold off our economic edge to overseas competitors whose emissions are steadily climbing.
"It would have taken the legs out from under American job creators while some of the world's leading polluters continued to roar right past us. It would have literally shipped our economic competitiveness to places like China and India.
"And here's how experts estimated the effect of all this self-inflicted economic damage on the climate: One one-hundredth of one degree difference by 2050.
"Think how deeply you'd have to be in the grip of left-wing ideology for that trade-off to sound like a good deal for American families.
"Today's effort to revive this bad policy is being pushed by the same Senate Democrats who overwhelmingly could not bring themselves to vote against something as absurd as the 'Green New Deal,' back in March.
"So, unfortunately, we know there's a considerable appetite among Democrats to inflict huge economic harm on American workers and American families, just so we can better comply with this new 'green' religion.
"But here's the good news for my constituents in Kentucky and for hardworking Americans across the nation: Senate Republicans are on the case, and we won't let far-left fashions take precedence over the common good of our country.
"The American people have elected an administration and a Senate majority that trusts workers and job creators, not Washington bureaucracies. We have spent years cleaning up the mess of overregulation that the Obama era left behind. And we will continue to stop Democrats from reenacting that damaging history.
"I urge every one of my colleagues to join with us today and oppose these efforts to nullify a presidency and take us backwards. Let's vote to keep this ill-conceived left-wing policy on the shelf, where it belongs."