From US News & World Report — While much of the press attention in the political world this week is focused on the potential for a government shutdown over Obamacare, there’s another big story with serious 2014 election implications that’s flying under the radar in Washington.As Reuters reports, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy is set to unveil new rules tomorrow that will dramatically limit emissions by U.S. power plants. While McCarthy claims the administration’s new rules “provide certainty” to the coal industry, the only “certainty” of their renewed war on coal is that thousands of jobs will be lost and Democrats running for the House and Senate in key states across the country will be further put on the defensive.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the Bluegrass State of Kentucky where Democrat Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is desperately trying, with little success, to distance herself from President Obama and her anti-coal Senate leader, Harry Reid. As Kentucky’s WFPL reported earlier this year, coal production in Kentucky is already at the lowest levels in the past half century even before these new regulations. Grimes’ effort to speak out this week actually achieved the exact opposite goal – Kentucky Coal Association President Bill Bissett quickly and publicy credited her opponent, Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell, for being the industry’s chief supporter on Capitol Hill.
And it’s not just President Obama who is preventing Democratic candidates like Grimes from gaining traction on the campaign trail. On the Senate floor just this morning, McConnell lambasted the proposed new rules, noting that the EPA’s actions ignore the thousands of people in Kentucky who depend on the coal industry for their livelihoods. McConnell then attempted to introduce and pass the “Saving Coal Jobs Act,” which