The Environmental Protection Agency is holding hearings this week across the country to collect public comments on its proposed regulations limiting greenhouse gas emissions. Members of Kentucky’s congressional delegation gathered Wednesday to address what they call a “war on coal.”
The EPA’s proposed regulation would require Kentucky to cut 18 percent of its carbon dioxide emissions, though it leaves how those cuts are made up to the state. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attended what he called a “sham hearing” to voice his objections with the rule to EPA representatives, and then hosted a press conference with other congressional members from coal producing states.
"This isn’t about regulations written in some dungeon up in Washington. This is about thousands of people who have lost their jobs," exclaimed U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky.
Over the past two years, Eastern Kentucky has lost 6000 coal jobs, though that’s due to a variety of factors and not just environmental regulations.
The U.S. Supreme Court determined that greenhouse gases pose a health hazard in 2007, and because of that endangerment finding, the EPA is required to address the problem. McConnell didn’t elaborate on what he would prefer as an alternative to the agency’s current proposal, other than inaction.