Several KY Politicians Criticize EPA CO2 Emissions Plan

Reported by: Aaron Adelson
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Updated: 6/02 6:15 pm
The Environmental Protection Agency announced a plan to slow down global warming, and the plan generated debate in Kentucky, because of its potential impact on the coal industry.

The goal is to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants 30% nationwide by 2030. 

States can come up with their own plan, and each state has a different percentage to cut. 

Kentucky needs to cut 18% from its 2012 CO2 emissions. 

The EPA says the costliest thing is to do nothing.  EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says the plan protects America's future.

"We have never, nor will we ever have to choose between a healthy economy and a healthy environment," said McCarthy.

Kentucky politicians saw those comments as a perfect alley-oop lob pass. 

Senator Mitch McConnell said, "Today's announcement is a dagger in the heart of the American middle class, and to representative Democracy itself."

His opponent in the fall, Alison Lundergan Grimes said, "President Obama's new EPA rule is more proof that Washington isn't working for Kentucky."

McConnell says he will propose legislation this week to fight these regulations.  Grimes said if elected she would fight the EPA rules. 

"What the President is doing in DC is going to really increase the cost of electricity in Kentucky, and that's not just going to hurt coal jobs, but manufacturing jobs as well," said Bill Bissett, President of the Kentucky Coal Association.

The EPA says a price increase would be equal to the cost of a gallon of milk per month.  The EPA says the health benefits outweigh the costs.

A UK Professor says American power plants using less coal, means companies will ship coal out of the country.  Frank Scott says that means fewer jobs for Kentuckians.

"It is costlier to mine coal and ship it across the world to China, or across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe, and so coal mined in Kentucky is at a competitive disadvantage the further it has to travel," said Frank Scott, UK Economics Professor.

The EPA accused the politicians speaking out against the plan of using scare tactics.
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