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McConnell: EPA rule aimed at making elites 'feel better about themselves

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urged Warren County supporters to send him back to the Senate next year where he hopes to lead a new majority of Republicans during a rally Saturday, May 17, 2014, at the Republican Party of Warren County headquarters in Bowling Green, Kentucky. (AP Photo/Daily News, Miranda Pederson) AP Photo/Daily News, Miranda Pederson

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that the Obama administration's new carbon emissions rule has one main purpose: to make left-wing elitists feel good.

"It's not really about science or global warming at all," he said on the Senate floor. "It's all about making privileged elitists, elitists who may not feel the pinch of a higher utility bill or the pain of a lost job, feel like they did something."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the EPA's new carbon emission rules are really about making the left feel like it's accomplishing something. (AP Photo/Daily News, Miranda Pederson

"This is really about growing government," he concluded. "It's really about making left-wing elitists feel better about themselves."

McConnell said the Environmental Protection Agency's new rule capping carbon emissions from electricity plants would destroy coal mining jobs in his home state, and criticized Democrats for being oblivious to the job impacts the rule would have.

"The same elites who like to lecture us from their privileged perches about helping others, these are often the same people who seem to care the least… about who their extreme policies hurt," he said. "The president's energy tax represents a direct attack on the American middle class."

To fight the regulation, McConnell announced the introduction of legislation that would require the government to ensure the regulations have no impact on jobs or the delivery of electricity. Specifically, his Coal Country Protection Act would require the Department of Labor to certify the rules would not lead to a drop in employment before the rules can take effect.

Three other certifications would have to be made before the rules are implemented. The Congressional Budget Office would have to verify the rules would not hurt U.S. GDP, energy regulators would have to certify the rules don't interrupt power delivery, and the U.S. Energy Information Administration would have to find no change in electricity rates.

The EPA's announcement of its proposed rule started a year-long process of taking comments about it and holding hearings across the country. The rule is slated to take effect in June 2015, and it would cap power plants' carbon emissions in 2030 to 30 percent of their 2005 levels.

The EPA said people who want to attend these hearings in late July will need to bring a photo ID in order to participate.

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