WASHINGTON - The Republicans have introduced legislation to thwart the Obama administration's plans to reduce carbon emissions at the nation's power plants by 30 percent by 2030.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky this morning said he would introduce the "Coal Country Protection Act." The reference is to the nation's electricity-generating plants that run on coal and produce about 40 percent of the nation's electricity. Missouri and Illinois are among the most coal-dependent states for electricity production.
McConnell's bill would require that, before the rules takes effect, the Secretary of Labor would have to certify that the new regulations would not cost jobs. The bill would require the Congressional Budget Office to certify that it would not create a loss in the Gross Domestic Product. The Energy Information Administration would have to certify that the regulations would not result in higher electricity bills. And the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission would have to certify that the delivery of electricity would remain reliable.
The legislation's outlook is uncertain. The Senate is controlled by Democrats, although some Democrats from coal-producing or coal-dependent states, including Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., have voted with Republicans in past coal-related votes.
Later Tuesday, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said he would co-sponsor the bill.