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Mr. McCONNELL. President Obama's new energy regulations would shift middle class jobs overseas, splinter our manufacturing base, and boost energy costs for struggling families.
The regulations could also lead to a reduction of nearly half a million jobs, according to an AFL-CIO union estimate. The union's leader characterized the job loss as ``long term and irreversible.'' He noted that the President's regulations would not achieve ``any significant reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions''--this is an AFL-CIO union leader--in other words, lots of pain for minimal gain.
The President's energy regulations would hurt the poor, the unemployed, seniors, and especially families in Kentucky. Kentucky coal sector employment has collapsed by about 7,000 jobs since President Obama took office.
Eastern Kentucky just saw a 3-percent reduction in coal jobs in the first quarter of 2014. At least three additional Kentuckians lose their paychecks indirectly for every mining job that is lost.
As one coal leader noted, the administration's proposed regulations would only add to the economic challenges facing Kentucky--especially in Eastern Kentucky, which is ground zero for what is happening in coal country.
The Coal Country Protection Act is cosponsored by several Senators, including Senator Rand Paul, and is supported by the Kentucky Coal Association.
It would require that simple but important benchmarks be met before the President's new rules could take effect. No. 1, the Secretary of Labor would have to certify that the regulations would not generate a loss of employment.
No. 2, the Director of the Congressional Budget Office would have to certify that the regulations would not result in any loss in American gross domestic product.
No. 3, the Administrator of the Energy Information Administration would have to certify that the regulations would not increase electricity rates.
No. 4, the Chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the president of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation would have to certify that electricity delivery would remain reliable. So the Coal Country Protection Act is just common sense.
Moments ago the majority leader blocked consideration of this measure. Unless we take this up, debate it, and pass it, the President's rules will cause job loss, utility rate hikes, and potentially brownouts. The President's regulations will actually increase energy prices and create job loss.
Opponents of this bill will be supporting job loss in Kentucky, our economy being hurt, and seniors' energy bills spiking for almost zero meaningful global carbon reduction.
So the majority leader and the Democrats in this body need to listen. And even if they won't, Kentuckians should know I will keep fighting for them.
Mr. President, I yield the floor.
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