Anti-Coal Bill Clinton Campaigns For Barack Obama’s Kentucky Candidate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 6, 2014

Contact: Allison Moore 502-618-1372

LOUISVILLE – Team Mitch today released the following statement and background information on former president Bill Clinton campaigning for Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky.  

"It must not have occurred to Alison Lundergan Grimes that after Barack Obama declared the war on coal, he named the building tasked with executing his mission after the man she's bringing to Eastern Kentucky. Evidently she doesn't think ‎Eastern Kentuckians can execute a basic google search to reveal that Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and now Alison Lundergan Grimes have every intention of continuing to attack their way of life," said Team Mitch spokeswoman Allison Moore.  

BACKGROUND:

Bill Clinton Applauded The Obama Administration’s EPA Regulations On Power Plants

In A Blog Post, Bill Clinton “Applauded” The Obama Administration’s EPA Regulations On Coal-Fired Power Plants. “Today’s proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency to limit carbon emissions from power plants is important to our country’s future… I applaud the EPA and the Obama Administration and look forward to seeing how the states implement the proposal.” (Bill Clinton, “My Thoughts On Today’s EPA Proposal,” The Clinton Foundation’s Blog, 6/2/14)

However, Clinton Admitted That The Regulations Will Kill Jobs. “As I said, recent history has shown that actions to improve health and the environment are net creators of jobs, good-paying jobs for American workers that can’t be outsourced overseas. However, it is imperative that the states most reliant on coal to generate electricity and those with people who work in the coal industry be given ample resources to deal with any dislocation that occurs—not just for retraining, but for employment in the new businesses and jobs this rule will generate. They haven’t done anything wrong, and they have a right to be part of a better future.” (Bill Clinton, “My Thoughts On Today’s EPA Proposal,” The Clinton Foundation’s Blog, 6/2/14)

Before He Left Office, Clinton Called For Federal Regulations To Limit CO2 Emissions From Power Plants

Just Months Before He Left Office, Clinton Called For New Federal Regulations Limiting Power Plants’ Emissions Of Carbon Dioxide. “President Clinton called today for new federal regulations limiting power plants' emissions of carbon dioxide, a gas thought to cause global climate change, through a system similar to the rules now in place for pollutants that cause smog and acid rain. It would be the first time that federal regulations specifically controlled emissions of carbon dioxide, the main so-called greenhouse gas. At the same time, Mr. Clinton called for similar controls on emissions of mercury, another pollutant that is given off by some power plants but is not regulated by the air pollution laws.” (Matthew Wald, “Clinton Seeks To Regulate Common Gas To Clean Air,” The New York Times, 11/12/00) 

EPA Headquarters Named After Bill Clinton

EPA Headquarters Was Renamed The “William Jefferson Clinton Federal Building” In 2013. “The agency’s headquarters was officially renamed the William Jefferson Clinton Federal Building on Wednesday, and the former president and his EPA chief used the occasion to tout past successes and claim some credit for laying the groundwork for President Barack Obama’s push to bypass Congress to implement his climate change agenda.” (Darren Goode, “Bill Clinton touts EPA legacy as HQ takes his name,”Politico, 7/18/13)

Clinton’s Support For Mountaintop Removal Was Purely Political

Clinton’s Support For Mountaintop Removal Was Purely Political And Got Revoked Once Clinton No Longer Needed Favors From Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV)

In 1999, The Clinton Administration Supported “Mountaintop Removal,” A Controversial Strip Mining Technique Favored By The Coal Industry. “The Clinton administration has sided with West Virginia Democrats in their efforts to permit the dumping of mining waste into the state's streams, angering conservation groups and complicating the White House's efforts to persuade Congress not to relax other environmental laws. White House officials privately indicated they are going along with the coal industry's use of a controversial strip mining technique known as ‘mountaintop removal,’ in part to accommodate the Senate Appropriations Committee's top Democrat, Robert C. Byrd (W.Va.). Byrd and other West Virginia lawmakers are considering attaching the strip mining language to one of the remaining bills funding government programs this year.” (Tom Kenworthy and Juliet Eilperin, “White House Back W. Va. On Mine Dumping,” The Washington Post, 10/30/99)

Clinton Dropped Support For Mountaintop Removal At The End Of His Tenure, “When He Realized That He No Longer Needed To Curry Favor With Robert Byrd.” “Mountaintop removal requires exactly what the name suggests, the removal of a mountaintop to get at the coal seam underneath. Soil and rock are blasted and scraped away by enormous machines, then dumped down the mountainside into adjacent valleys and the streams that run through them. Encouraging this practice may result in short-term gains for Appalachia's coal companies. But it will almost surely be a long-term disaster for West Virginia's ecosystem. Bill Clinton flirted with much the same idea, but dropped it near the end of his tenure when he realized that he no longer needed to curry favor with Robert Byrd, the powerful Democratic senator from West Virginia.” (Editorial, “Burying Valleys, Poisoning Streams,” The New York Times, 5/4/02)

During His First Term, Clinton Tried To Tax Energy Consumption

In 1993, Clinton Tried To Pass A Broad Energy Tax That Was Estimated To Cost A Typical Middle-Class Family $320 Per Year

In 1993, Clinton Tried To Pass A Broad B.T.U Tax That Taxed Energy Consumption. “President Clinton wants to add some new letters to the Government's tax-code alphabet soup: B.T.U. His proposed broad-based energy tax would apply to the energy content of nearly all fuels, as measured by the British thermal unit, or B.T.U. -- the quantity of heat needed to raise the temperature of a pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit.” (Steven Greenhouse, “Clinton’s Economic Plan: The Energy Plan; Fuels Tax: Spreading The Burden,” The New York Times, 2/18/93)

Clinton Said The B.T.U Tax Was “A Good Part” Of His Economic Plan That Would Promote Energy Efficiency And Environmental Responsibility. “Asked about an alternative to his energy tax, Mr. Clinton told reporters after meeting House members: ‘Let me remind you that when Secretary Bentsen announced that we would support a deficit reduction plan that included an energy tax that would promote energy efficiency and environmental responsibility, that's when the interest rates started to drop. So I think we ought to stay there with it. I think it's a good part of the program, and I think we can pass it.’” (Thomas Friedman, “Clinton Puts Down Democratic Revolt On Economic Plan,”The New York Times, 5/20/93)

The B.T.U Tax Was Criticized As A Regressive Tax That Would Cost A Typical Middle-Class Family $320 Per Year Once Fully Implemented. “In addition to the direct effects of President Clinton's proposed energy tax, which are fairly easy to calculate for typical households, the new tax would ripple widely into the economy, affecting prices on items as diverse as air fares, aluminum siding and restaurant pizza. In fact, according to the Energy Department, once the tax is fully in place in 1996 a typical family would pay about $120 a year through the gas pump, oil tank or electric meter and would pay about twice that in these indirect costs, for a total of $320 a year… The energy tax has been criticized both as a regressive tax that would fall on the middle class and as a potential contributor to inflation.” (Robert Hersey Jr., “Clinton’s Economic Plan; Indirect Effects Of The Energy Tax,” The New York Times, 2/20/93)

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