Editor’s Note: The following commentary provided by U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the rollback of a harmful Obama anti-coal regulation:
“For eight years, President Obama landed blow after blow in his War on Coal. As we all know, it wasn’t just the coal companies that endured the pain. Hardworking families – many who live in economically-distressed communities that relied on mining jobs – became the casualties of this ideological agenda. In my home state of Kentucky, for example, these policies inflicted serious damage that’s still being felt years later.
That’s why I was so grateful to hear that later today, the Trump Administration will begin the process to undo and replace another Obama anti-coal regulation. Throughout the Obama Administration, my Republican colleagues and I did everything we could to stop this assault on vulnerable communities. Where this particular rule is concerned, I personally led the charge, including as the lead sponsor of a resolution to cancel it altogether.
Republicans knew these policies would stymie American competitiveness and do little to actually help the environment. But despite our best efforts, President Obama’s EPA worked overtime to shutter existing coal plants and with this rule in particular, stop new ones from being built. It was the fulfillment of one of his most troubling campaign promises: Quote, ‘If somebody wants to build a coal-fired power plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them.’
When we blocked the legislation he originally pitched, President Obama chose to go it alone and try to implement aggressive regulations, often bending the rule of law in the process. When we used the tools available to us to bring relief to American families, we were met each time with vetoes. But everything changed when the American people elected President Trump. We’ve worked hand-in-hand to end the War on Coal and bring relief.
Earlier this year, the president unveiled his plan to dismantle the so-called ‘Clean Power Plan,’ a policy designed to shut down nearly every active coal plant. Now President Trump’s EPA is also targeting another regulation that would have made it nearly impossible to build any new plants in the future. This is a crucial step toward undoing the damage and putting coal back on a level playing field.
On behalf of coal families throughout Kentucky, I applaud the Trump Administration. This runaway regulation needs to be rolled back and replaced with a more reasonable and achievable set of standards. Coal deserves a level playing field -- and that’s what this White House is trying to accomplish. I look forward to reviewing the proposal in the coming days and continuing to work with President Trump on this critical issue.”