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Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul speaks during the inaugural Freedom Summit meeting for conservative speakers in Manchester, N.H., April 12, 2014. (REUTERS/Lucas Jackson) Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul speaks during the inaugural Freedom Summit meeting for conservative speakers in Manchester, N.H., April 12, 2014. (REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)  

Rand Paul Vows To Repeal ‘Illegal’ EPA Climate Rule

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul is not happy about the Environmental Protection Agency’s new carbon dioxide emissions limits for power plants, arguing it is an “illegal use of executive power.”

Paul has vowed to force a vote on the EPA’s rule to repeal it.

“This latest assault on our economy by President Obama will destroy jobs here in Kentucky and across the country, and will hurt middle class families by hiking their utility bills and straining their budgets,” said Paul in a statement.

“The excessive rule is an illegal use of executive power, and I will force a vote to repeal it,” Paul added.

Kentucky is the country’s third largest coal producing state and employs thousands of miners. The state has already been hard hit by federal environmental regulation which have seen thousands of coal jobs leave the state and force the closing of coal mines and power plants.

“By imposing these draconian new rules on the nation’s coal industry, President Obama and every other liberal lawmaker in Washington who quietly supports them is also picking regional favorites, helping their political supporters in states like California and New York while inflicting acute pain on states like Kentucky,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Paul’s fellow Kentucky senator.

McConnell has already challenged the Obama administration’s rule by trying to block it using the Congressional Review Act. However, the Government Accountability Office shut down McConnell’s effort to block the rule, saying the CRA can’t be used until the rule is finalized.

The EPA announced its new rule to limit carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants on Monday. The agency is seeking to cut carbon dioxide emissions 30 percent by 2030, a rule that the EPA says will cost the energy industry up to $9 billion — an estimate far below what others have projected.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce predicted the EPA’s climate rule would cost the economy $50 billion per year and kill 224,000 annually. The South and other coal heavy regions would bear the brunt of these costs because of their reliance on coal power.

“Overall, the South Atlantic will be hit the hardest in terms of GDP and employment declines. Its GDP losses make up about one-fifth of total U.S.,” the Chamber’s report predicted. “This region also will have an average of 60,000 fewer jobs over the 2014-30 forecast period, hitting a 171,000 job loss trough in 2022.”

“The impact on individuals and families and entire regions of the country will be catastrophic, as a proud domestic industry is decimated — and many of its jobs shipped overseas,” McConnell added. “In short, the downstream effects of today’s announcement will be staggering for millions.”

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