U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell met with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator nominee Gina McCarthy on Tuesday to discuss her nomination and the impact that job-killing regulations pursued during her tenure at the agency have had on Kentucky.
During the meeting, Senator McConnell asked McCarthy a series of questions related to the EPA's anti-coal policies, including proposals to set a new CO2 standard that would ban new coal plants as well as planned regulations targeting existing coal units. Senator McConnell also pressed McCarthy as to why the EPA has yet to respond to the thousands of Kentuckians who participated in two public hearings the agency held in June, 2012 regarding the EPA's cumbersome mine permitting process that serves as a back-door means of shutting down coal mines.
"If confirmed as Administrator, I am concerned that Gina McCarthy would continue to foster this administration's radical environmental and anti-coal jobs agenda," said Senator McConnell. "Vast overreach and burdensome rules and regulations that stifle job creation have been the bedrock of this administration for too long. With 18,000 Kentuckians working in coal mining and nearly 200,000 more, including farmers, realtors, and transportation workers, relying on the coal industry for their jobs, it is time for this administration to stop trivializing the livelihoods of my constituents just to further its own misguided agenda."
Note: More than four thousand Kentuckians lost their jobs in the coal industry last year; eastern Kentucky being the hardest hit (down nearly 30%).