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GOP senator: Obama 'ashamed' to make EPA announcement himself

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., the Republican Policy Committee chairman, speaks with a reporter as he enters the chamber for the vote on the energy bill, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, May 12, 2014. A procedural motion to limit debate and send the measure to the Senate floor without amendments fell five votes short of the 60 votes needed for approval after the popular bi-partisan energy efficiency bill was doomed by a GOP amendment to include the Keystone XL oil pipeline in the legislation. (AP Photo) AP Photo

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) on Monday accused President Barack Obama of being too embarrassed to announce new regulations limiting emissions from power plants, which Republicans say will hurt job growth and raise the cost of electricity for all Americans.

Instead, Barrasso noted that Obama had Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy make the announcement.

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., the Republican Policy Committee chairman, accused President Barack Obama on Monday of being 'ashamed' of announcing new climate change regulations himself. (AP Photo)

"The president today is hiding," Barrasso said on the Senate floor. "If this is something the president was proud of, he should have been at the White House, in the Rose Garden, in front of the cameras, making an announcement."

"Not asking his EPA administrator to make it so he could be on a conference call because he was ashamed to show his face to the American people because of the impact these regulations are going to have on families all across America."

Barrasso also accused Obama of "tone-deaf leadership" for allowing a proposed rule to go forward that even many Democrats in coal-producing states will hotly oppose. He said Obama has ignored Congress and the American people by proposing a rule that will hurt millions of low-wage Americans.

"So the president decided that he knew better than the American people, the elected representatives, he decided to go around Congress and go around the American people," he said.

The EPA says the rule will help reduce electricity costs by 2030, in part by boosting energy efficiency and "reducing demand in the electricity system." But most Republicans disagree, including Senate Budget Committee ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who said on the Senate floor Monday that Obama seems intent on increasing the price of power.

"I don't believe this administration wants to bring down the price of energy," he said. "In fact I think the opposite is true."

Sessions and other are noting that Obama said one of his goals in a cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon emissions would be to increase the price of coal-derived electricity.

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