- A proposal by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) that states not comply with new federal carbon mandates is failing to gain much traction among governors and has invoked outright opposition among some, the Associated Press reports.
- Last month the Senate majority leader published an opinion piece in the Lexington Herald-Leader calling for states to "think twice" before developing compliance proposals for the Clean Power Plan.
- That letter is prompting backlash from Democratic governors concerned about climate change, while multiple aides to Republican governors across the nation told the AP that they would not respond to the letter.
Sen. McConnell is urging states to refuse to comply with the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, and in an op-ed in his home state the conservative lawmaker said governors should not be "complicit in the administration's attack on the middle class."
"Think twice before submitting a state plan — which could lock you in to federal enforcement and expose you to lawsuits — when the administration is standing on shaky legal ground and when, without your support, it won't be able to demonstrate the capacity to carry out such political extremism," he wrote.
But that plea doesn't appear to be gaining much traction across the nation. Aides to GOP governors in Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee and Wyoming told the Associated Press that they have not responded to the letter, while some said they wouldn't. Democratic governors in California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Montana, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington and West Virginia joined them in that position.
While the letter was initially met with silence it appears some states have begun to actively push back, particularly on the idea that the CPP "would have a negligible effect on global climate."
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin (D) responded to McConnell with a letter of his own, bluntly stating: "I disagree. Climate change is real. It's a threat to humanity. We should be working harder to address it, not rolling back efforts to do so."
The brief letter was posted to Shumlin's twitter feed.
The AP reports that New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan has responded to the letter as well, writing "I respectfully disagree with your letter and would ask that states in the Midwest (and Kentucky) follow the science and take a more active effort in reducing harmful emissions, including CO2 emissions — particularly emissions generated through coal-fired power plants."
The report also noted that California Governor Jerry Brown (D) said on "Meet the Press" that McConnell's call for inaction is "putting at risk the health and well-being of America."