What is it these days with Senate Republicans and open letters to leaders outside of their jurisdiction? Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) sent a letter to all 50 governors urging them not to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Clean Power Plan, which will regulate global warming pollution from power plants.1 His doctrine of depravity ignores the law, and he's doubling down on it by trying to amend the federal budget to allow any state to opt-out of federal rules to curb climate disruption.
For a man who consistently campaigns for increased states' rights, McConnell sure looks like someone who does not trust them to make decisions that would best protect their citizens from climate chaos. That's why I am asking you to contact your governor and tell them to comply with the Clean Power Plan and kindly ask Mitch McConnell to butt our of your state's business.
Senator McConnell's claim that the EPA is acting above the law has been swiftly repudiated.2 He's desperate enough to scare people into believing that the Clean Power Plan would increase costs. But his scare tactics conveniently omit the fact that coal-fired plants actually cost U.S. citizens $345-$523 billion a year in health related costs, and account for nearly 13,000 American deaths every year.3
Then of course there is his fallback plan to try and convince us that the Clean Power Plan would result in huge job losses. However, according to the Bureau for Labor Statistics the coal industry employs only 0.06% of U.S. private sector workers. And even in Mitch's home state of Kentucky, only 0.64% of the state's workforce is employed by King Coal.4
It's not that McConnell is forgetting facts -- it's more that he is remembering who lines his pockets with copious amounts of dirty cash. During the 2013-2014 election cycle, the coal industry gave Mitch nearly $300,000, which was three times more than they gave to the second highest recipient.5 Talk about quid pro quo, or in this case more like Quid Pro Coal.
Mitch doesn't have a leg to stand on. Even Republican governors from states like Utah and Michigan have announced their plans to comply with the Clean Power Rule.6 And governors from other states like Vermont and California have already sent their reply to Mitch's request,: an emphatic NO! Will you click here and tell your governor to say no to Mitch too?
States' air quality and citizens' health should not be impaired so that Mitch can keep lining his pockets with dirty coal's cash. I hope you will join me in telling governors across the country that when it comes to his letter of lies there's only one smart action: Just Say No!
Thank you for taking (environmental) action,
Anthony and the Clean Power Crusaders
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