Mitch McConnell has promised to fight the Clean Power Plan in the courts, in the Congress, even by risking another government shutdown. But he's ignoring the fact that clean power is GOOD for Kentucky and the planet. Click here to donate $10 and remind him while he's home for summer break.
Mitch is back and he's mad. When the Clean Power Plan (CPP) was released last week, McConnell unleashed a barrage of criticism in which he (falsely) claimed the plan would hurt people of color, hurt the elderly, hurt the planet (?!) and hurt the economy. Basically, to hear Mitch tell it, the nation's first-ever attempts to limit global warming pollution from power plants are an existential threat to life, liberty and all Americans.1
But there's a problem with Mitch's paradigm -- it's not true. In fact, Kentucky is one of the states that stands to benefit the most from Obama's climate plan, and they have some of the most achievable goals to meet.2 That's probably why most of Kentucky's local utilities are already making plans to comply with the CPP, even as Mitch McConnell enacts his coal-y interpretation of the death scene from Hamlet on the floor of the U.S. Senate.
As ridiculous as Mitch looks, we can't afford to dismiss him. As the leader of the Senate, he's in a position to wield a lot of influence in the media, the Congress and the courts. Earlier this year he joined a Senate Appropriations subcommittee specifically so he could meddle with the EPA’s budget and delay rules on climate. In March, McConnell wrote a letter to all governors implying there would be legal ramifications for those who comply with the plan and act on climate. And just last week in his Senate floor speech he specifically said he might attach anti-climate riders to must-pass spending bills this fall -- setting up the prospect of another government shutdown.3
If you're fed up with Mitch, and his disingenuous plans to undermine our action on climate, click here to chip in $10 to stop his Coal-y war. We'll use the funds to run a series of hard hitting ads in McConnell's home state of Kentucky that tell the truth about the clean power plan and climate change..
Look, if there's one thing we agree on with McConnell, it's that action on climate does matter -- especially to Kentucky. But Mitch isn't telling the truth. Just consider these under-reported facts:2,4
- Kentucky leads the nation in toxic air pollution from power plants. Those plants also are the main local source of climate change, and would be forced to clean up under the Clean Power Plan -- protecting public health and the climate.
- The President's plan is modest by international standards, calling for our nation's power plants to cut global warming pollution 32 percent by 2030. That is tougher than earlier drafts, but states have been given two additional years to meet their targets.
- Kentucky is already on track to cut 18 percent of its global warming pollution because local power companies were already planning to phase out dirty old coal plants.
- The final plan calls for Kentucky to cut emissions by nearly 30 percent — which they can do by staying the course with coal-plant closures, adding more renewable power sources and improving the energy efficiency of buildings.
News like this is vitally important to get out, especially in Kentucky, especially right now. But we can't trust politicians like Mitch to use the bully pulpit to spread the word that clean power is good for the climate and the economy. And if we don't act fast, McConnell and other elected officials will head back to D.C. before we can get our message out.
Once he's back inside the beltway, working furiously on ways to shut down the government at the behest of the polluters who own the power plants, it will be a lot harder to connect pissed off local activists to McConnell's office. Can you help us strike while the iron is hot? Chip in $10, $50, or whatever you can afford to help us speak the truth about clean power while McConnell is home, and vulnerable?
Drew and the Clean Climate crew at Environmental Action
1 - Kentucky politicians react to President Obama's Clean Power Plan, WKBKO, Aug 03, 2015
2 - Tom Eblen, Ignore the scare tactics; EPA's Clean Power Plan will be good for Kentucky, Herald-Leader, August 9, 2015
3 - Chris Adams & Sean Cockerham, As Obama ramps up climate battle, McConnell readies counterattack, McClatchy August 3, 2015
4 - EPA State fact sheet, Kentucky, Clean Power Plan