World & Nation

EPA rule sparks debate: Is it a job killer or bold step for future?

Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul
Kentucky Sens. Rand Paul, left, and Mitch McConnell address the media during a news conference after McConnell’s victory in the Republican primary. Both are opposed to President Obama’s proposal for cutting carbon emissions.
(Timothy D. Easley / Associated Press)

The Obama administration’s proposed carbon-emissions rule sparked a political and economic debate that is likely to play out for months.

Here are some of the comments from lawmakers and interest groups:

“Today’s announcement is a dagger in the heart of the American middle class, and to representative Democracy itself.” – Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), candidate for reelection

“The world is not flat and climate change is real. There can be no excuses when it comes to combating climate change. It’s our responsibility to protect the air we breathe and the safety of our communities.” – Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles), chair, House Democratic Caucus


“The president’s plan is nuts, there’s really no more succinct way to describe it.... The question now is: Will Senate Democrats listen to the American people and stop this disaster or will they back the president all the way?” – House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio)

“We look forward to working with the administration on how best to achieve cost-effective greenhouse gas emissions reductions while continuing to support growth and job creation.” – Dave Cote, chairman and CEO of Honeywell and Vice Chair of Business Roundtable

“We already restrict mercury and arsenic pollution – it’s time we did the same for toxic carbon pollution.” – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco)

“This latest assault on our economy by President Obama will destroy jobs here in Kentucky and across the country, and will hurt middle-class families by hiking their utility bills and straining their budgets. The excessive rule is an illegal use of executive power, and I will force a vote to repeal it.” – Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)


“Thank goodness the president refuses to be bullied by those who have their heads in the sand, and whose obstruction is leading us off the climate change cliff.” – Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chair, Environment and Public Works Committee

“Power plant pollution makes people sick and cuts short lives.... Cleaning up carbon pollution will have an immediate, positive impact on public health.” – American Lung Assn.

“Four years after a Democratic Senate rejected cap-and-trade, the administration continues its pursuit to regulate where Congress refused to legislate.” – Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chair, House Energy and Commerce Committee

“Coal companies, the Koch brothers and other allies of polluting special interests may fight this proposal, but scientific facts, economic opportunity and history aren’t on their side.” – Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), candidate for reelection

“We can all agree that clean air is worth fighting for, but the president seems to imagine a bubble over the U.S., as if pollution from other countries that generate more and regulate less don’t reach our environment. This reckless and ineffective rule will have little or no impact on our environment, yet take a devastating toll on our economy.” – Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.)

“Clean energy policies are already working in California, generating billions of dollars in energy savings and more than a million jobs. Bold, sustained action will be required at every level, and this is a major step forward.” – California Gov. Jerry Brown (D), candidate for reelection

“Throughout his presidency, Barack Obama has adopted a my-way-or-the-highway approach, and that explains why he’s shoving these EPA regulations down our throat.” – Reince Priebus, Republican National Committee Chairman

“As a representative and lifelong resident of one of the areas hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy, my constituents and I know all too well the serious impact climate change is having on our lives, economy, health and well being.... The costs of inaction in dealing with climate change are simply too high to ignore.” – Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.)


“President Obama’s new EPA rule is more proof that Washington isn’t working for Kentucky. When I’m in the U.S. Senate, I will fiercely oppose the president’s attack on Kentucky’s coal industry, because protecting our jobs will be my No. 1 priority.” – Alison Lundergan Grimes, Democratic nominee for Senate in Kentucky

“I applaud President Obama for using every tool at his disposal and not waiting for Congress or a new international treaty. California and nine Eastern states have used similar policies, including an effective cap-and-trade system, which can serve as a national model to help our country achieve the president’s goals. The experiences of those states also prove that this is not a Democrat or Republican issue, it’s a people issue.” – Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R)

“Washington bureaucrats need to understand, these are not numbers on a balance sheet, they are real people with families to feed.” – Natalie Tennant, Democratic nominee for Senate in West Virginia

“The proposed EPA rule does little to address the global problem with global solutions. Instead, today’s rule appears to be more about desirability rather than reliability or feasibility, with little regard for rising consumer prices, the effects on jobs and the impact on the reliability of our electric grid.” – Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.)






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