On the Senate floor this morning, Sen. Mitch McConnell addressed his fellow legislators to explain the costliness that sweeping new Environmental Protection Agency regulations – like the Utility Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) mandate – will have on the Bluegrass State:
“This regulation would expand the already massive powers given to the EPA by increasing red tape and costing the taxpayer over $10 billion dollars each year. In Kentucky alone, it threatens the jobs of over 1,400 people working in aluminum smelter plants as well as approximately 18,000 coal miners, not to mention those engaged in industries that support these jobs.”
Unilateral mandates like Utility MACT will make it unfathomable for new coal-fired power plants to be established in Kentucky. As coal provides Kentuckians with 93% of our electricity, energy rates are set to skyrocket, driving businesses away from the commonwealth.
McConnell mentioned the aluminium industry – which produces more aluminium in Kentucky than any other state in the U.S. – but also at stake is Kentucky’s portion of the steel industry. The largest stainless steel production factory in the nation is located right here at home in Carroll County, KY. Steel and aluminum are the local factors of production that draw so many automotive companies to the commonwealth.
So we see, the EPA is not only costing coal miners and their families – it is also going to cost businesses as varied as steel, aluminum, and automotive, a nasty chain effect striking right through our already fragile economy.