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Obama's Action on Climate Change Draws Mixed Reviews in KY

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PHOTO: Coal is at the center of President Obama's plan to deal with pollution and its effects on climate.
PHOTO: Coal is at the center of President Obama's plan to deal with pollution and its effects on climate.
June 26, 2013

FRANKFORT, Ky. - President Obama warned of the disastrous effects of climate change on Tuesday as he unveiled a wide-ranging plan to deal with pollution and global warming.

"We need to act," Obama said - a message drawing praise from the Sierra Club in Kentucky.

"It's time to take bold action for climate disruption," said Lane Boldman, the Sierra Club's mining chair. "We've known the science for many, many years and it's time to own up to it."

Obama directed his administration to "put an end to the limitless dumping of carbon pollution."

In a coal state such as Kentucky, with numerous coal-fired power plants, the backlash was swift. On the Senate floor, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said American's want common-sense policies to make energy cleaner and more affordable - which he claims Obama's plan doesn't do.

"Declaring a war on coal is tantamount to declaring a war on jobs," McConnell said. "It's tantamount to kicking the ladder out from beneath the feet of many Americans struggling in today's economy."

Boldman said she was very disappointed in McConnell's "war on coal" statement. She claimed the senator refuses to recognize that coal mining is on the decline and said he hasn't done "anything of substance" to help the region's economic future.

"He wants to point the finger at the president, the environmentalists, the EPA, and make them scapegoats for what's happening," she said. "What needs to be happening is that people need to get serious about an economic transition for the coalfield regions."

More information on Obama's plan is online at whitehouse.gov.

Greg Stotelmyer , Public News Service - KY