President Obama and his Environmental Protection Agency are waging a destructive war against the coal industry and Kentucky’s hardworking coal miners — and families are paying the price.
Regulations such as the so-called Clean Power Plan and Stream Protection Rule are decimating the coal industry, especially in Harlan County, and the president and EPA know it. President Obama knew he would never get enough support to enact these rules, so he bypassed Congress by using executive action.
Now he is planning to do it again, and this time on a global scale. At the United Nations climate negotiations coming in Paris this December, President Obama will reportedly commit the United States to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 25 percent in the next 10 years. And once again he appears set to impose those requirements without the approval of Congress or the American people.
But I am standing up to President Obama and working to stop the damage before it starts. This week, I introduced a resolution in the Senate that says any agreement coming from the UN climate negotiations is a treaty and must be approved by the supermajority required by the Constitution.
Faced with shepherding a UN climate treaty through the Senate, President Obama would have to find 67 votes for his climate agenda. Too often the Senate has had it exactly backward, saying a supermajority is needed to stop the President’s destructive actions. In this case, the shoe would be on the other foot: President Obama is the one who would need to find the votes to approve his climate treaty. And that is something he cannot do.
Now more than ever we must speak up and push back against these regulations. Our situation in Kentucky is dire. Just this week another 180 jobs were lost when CSX Transportation announced the closure of its mechanical shops in Corbin, because of the significant decline of the region’s coal traffic. Since the end of 2011, Kentucky has lost more than 7,700 direct coal jobs and more than 30,000 coal related jobs in the War on Coal.
The Clean Power Plan alone has made Kentucky one of the biggest losers in the War on Coal, requiring that our power plants cut back the use of coal by a staggering 41 percent. The Stream Protection Rule is estimated to cause nearly 80,000 direct and indirect coal related job losses nationwide.
This week I will be cosponsoring resolutions of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act regarding the Clean Power Plan’s job killing greenhouse gas regulations on new and existing power plants. I have also previously cosponsored legislation to stop the destructive effects of both of these rules, and I am leading the charge against President Obama’s climate treaty.
We cannot continue to let President Obama do whatever he wants at Kentucky’s expense. The hardworking coal miners and families of our Commonwealth need an advocate in Washington to make their voices heard and stop the outrageous, stifling regulations.
I am determined to continue fighting for Kentucky jobs, and I will do everything in my power to stop the implementation of the president’s agenda.