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Democrats Rebut McConnell's Message to States on EPA

Whitehouse led a group of five senators in a letter to 50 governors. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A group of Democratic caucus members in the Senate has asked governors to consider the views of other Kentuckians before taking Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's advice on implementing the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan.  

The Kentucky Republican has espoused the view that states should consider avoiding developing their own plans for implementing the power standards. But the five senators behind Tuesday's open letter to the governors point out that the Democratic leadership in McConnell's home state is moving forward with its own EPA plan.  

"Kentucky is already crafting its plan for complying with the Clean Power Plan," the senators, led by Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, wrote. "The Commonwealth of Kentucky's decision to work with the EPA and prepare a plan was based, according to the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, on what 'the overwhelming majority of our stakeholders are telling us.'"  

Joining Whitehouse on Tuesday's letter were Democrats Barbara Boxer of California, Al Franken of Minnesota and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, as well as Bernard Sanders, an independent from Vermont.  

The senators even cited programs about climate change at the University of Louisville, McConnell's undergraduate alma mater and the home of his namesake center.  

"Before you take advice about climate change from Senator McConnell please consider first what so many knowledgeable voices from the Bluegrass State are saying about climate change, and second how failing to act gives up your state’s right to set its own course of action toward a clean energy future," the senators wrote. "His is not the voice from ahead saying the trail is not safe; his is the voice obstinately staying behind saying, 'Let’s not even try.'"  

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