Senate Hopeful Wants EPA Administrator to Visit Montana Coal Town

Daines, a member of the House Natural Resources Committee and Congressional Coal Caucus, introduced the Protecting Coal Jobs and Affordable Energy Act, which would stop the EPA's regulations from taking effect unless the government can certify that they would not kill jobs, increase electricity rates or harm the nation’s gross domestic product.

He is also a co-sponsor of H.R. 3826, the Electricity Security and Affordability Act, which would provide that Congress, not the EPA, set the effective date for any carbon dioxide regulations developed by the EPA. It passed the House earlier this year but has been blocked from coming to the Senate floor for a vote.

Daines said, “I urge Administrator McCarthy to get out of Washington, D.C. and speak with the Montana families that will be directly – and negatively – affected by these regulations and explain to them why the Obama administration is waging a war on their livelihoods and their town.”

Rick Harbin, the parks department director in Colstrip, knows what he will tell McCarthy if she finds her way out of the Beltway to the heartland.

Harbin told The Billings Gazette he and his neighbors know how much money Western Energy spends on “taking care of Mother Earth.”

“People can say anything they want, but I’m no dummy and the people that are working out there are no dummies. If what was happening was going to kill them, we wouldn’t be living right next door.”

Walsh has said that humans are responsible for climate change, and have a responsibility to fix it.

But he stopped short in June of endorsing the EPA Clean Power Plan. Walsh only went so far as to say he would “be listening to Montanans in the coming months to make sure that any final rule from the EPA is right for Montana’s future and for Montana’s jobs now.”

Andrea Helling, Walsh’s Senate office communications director, told the Washington Times Walsh would release his “10 in 10” plan soon.

It calls for the federal government to invest at least $10 billion to build 10 power plants over the next 10 years that are capable of capturing and storing carbon dioxide.

Lockman said the Daines House office had not seen Walsh’s 10 in 10 proposal but “it looks like his proposal does nothing to actually address the EPA’s job-killing regulations.”

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