The U.S. may still be more than a year out from the 2014 midterm elections, but Republicans in Congress are already making the Obama administration’s climate policies a key issue for voters.
Republican Representative Ed Whitfield from Kentucky announced this week that he intends to make the President’s climate change policies, specifically stricter standards on coal-fired power plants, a top talking point during the coming campaign season. Whitfield also announced that he would introduce legislation to weaken the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate coal plant emissions.
The Hill quotes Whitfield as saying, “We are going to mark this legislation up, we are going to get it to the floor, we want to get it over to the Senate, and we want those senators running next year to have to have a discussion with whoever their opponent may be about the future of fossil fuel in America.”
Whitfield wants to force the issue of “restrictive” climate policy onto Democrats who are running in conservative areas of the country, with an emphasis on those running in areas that are entrenched with the dirty energy industry, like his home state of Kentucky, along with West Virginia and the Carolinas.
Representative Whitfield has long been a mouthpiece for the dirty energy industry during his tenure as the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power; a position that has earned him more than $900,000 in campaign donations from the oil, coal, and gas industries.