McConnell attacks Obama budget; takes subcommittee post to oversee EPA

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who recently won re-election in a campaign featuring sharp attacks on the Obama Administration’s so-called “war on coal,” said Feb. 2 that the newly-proposed fiscal year 2016 budget is another anti-coal effort.

“It is cold comfort for the Obama Administration to suddenly propose easing the pain they’ve helped inflict on so many Kentucky coal families, but anything aimed at aiding these communities should be seriously considered,” said McConnell. “Meanwhile, I will continue to offer ways to help Kentucky’s struggling communities under the Obama economy, particularly those in coal country. The best way to help these Kentuckians is to prevent anti-coal efforts in the first place, which is one reason I’ve joined the Senate subcommittee charged with overseeing spending at the anti-coal EPA.”

Said McConnell about joining the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee: “This Administration continues its war against Kentucky coal jobs, our miners and their families and I have vowed to do all I can do stop them. By joining the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, I will help oversee the budget for the EPA. You can guarantee that I will continue to fight back against this Administration’s anti-coal jobs regulations on behalf of the Kentuckians I represent in the U.S. Senate.”

The FY 2016 budget proposal, which now faces months of review in both the GOP-controlled House and Senate, includes more money in the Energy Dept. budget for CO2-control research, and a $4bn fund in the EPA budget to encourage states to go beyond the mandates of the proposed Clean Power Plan to reduce CO2 emissions from existing power plants. McConnell’s home state of Kentucky is a major coal-producing state and also relies heavily on coal-fired power from companies like Kentucky Utilities and Louisville Gas & Electric.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.