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NEWS EXTRA

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ASSIGNMENTS / APPOINTMENTS / ANNOUNCEMENTS

SOURCE:  Office of Senator Mitch McConnell

Kentucky Manufacturers Express Support for Senator McConnell’s Efforts to Combat President’s War on Coal

Thank McConnell for his “leadership in Congress in the fight against EPA’s overreach and for standing up for manufacturers in the Commonwealth”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Kentucky Association of Manufacturers (KAM) wrote to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to thank him for the letter he sent to our Nation’s Governors calling on them to reject the EPA’s proposed regulation that requires states to dramatically restructure their electricity systems based on how the agency thinks electricity should be produced and used in each state. The proposal would further stifle the use of coal-fired electricity. The EPA’s demands, McConnell noted in his letter, are “far beyond its legal authority.”

In the letter to Senator McConnell, KAM President & CEO Charles Gregory Higdon wrote: “We agree that Kentucky has every right to question, whether restructuring our state’s energy portfolio via submitting a State Implementation Plan (SIP) under the CPP at this time is in the best interest of the Commonwealth.” Higdon also wrote that “KAM agrees with you that EPA lacks the statutory authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal-fired electric generators… KAM supports an “all of the above” approach to the production of cost-effective and reliable energy for our members… We agree that this legally questionable plan is not worth jeopardizing the tens of thousands of jobs in the Commonwealth that rely on manufacturing.”

Read Letter Below:

April 15, 2015

The Honorable Mitch McConnell

Senate Republican Leader

United States Senate

317 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator McConnell:

On behalf of the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers (KAM), I write to thank you for the letter you recently sent to all 50 governors outlining a series of concerns we share regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed “Clean Power Plan” (CPP).  We agree that Kentucky has every right to question, whether restructuring our state’s energy portfolio via submitting a State Implementation Plan (SIP) under the CPP at this time is in the best interest of the Commonwealth.

KAM agrees with you that EPA lacks the statutory authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal-fired electric generators.  Even if such authority did exist, EPA does not have the authority to dictate to states the level of emission reductions that each State must make.  As you highlighted, Harvard constitutional law Professor Laurence Tribe maintains that the CPP contravenes the states’ rights doctrine under the 10th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.  By requiring a state to submit a SIP, EPA is forcing states to be subservient to the federal government on energy policy. Additionally, and to your point, all but one of the requirements in the proposed CPP falls outside EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act.  Simply put, EPA is improperly interpreting existing law to create a set of regulations that are beyond its authority.

KAM supports an “all of the above” approach to the production of cost-effective and reliable energy for our members. The proposed CPP, however, potentially takes this approach off the table and places Kentucky’s, as well as America’s, manufacturers at risk.  The manufacturing sector in Kentucky and across the nation is a major energy consumer.  Kentucky is home to particularly energy-intensive manufacturing processes including aluminum smelting, automobile production, appliance manufacturing, iron and steel mills, paper mills, chemical production, and glass manufacturing.  According to the latest statistics published by the Kentucky Department of Energy Development and Independence, almost 96% of the Commonwealth’s electricity is generated by fossil fuel-fired sources — 92.7% was generated through coal combustion alone. The abundance, low-cost, and reliability of these energy sources has allowed Kentucky manufacturers to remain competitive in the domestic and global economy.  KAM is concerned that the proposed CPP could undermine the reliability of the U.S. electric grid and increase energy costs, dealing a lethal blow to the competitiveness of Kentucky’s energy-intensive manufacturing sector.

We agree that this legally questionable plan is not worth jeopardizing the tens of thousands of jobs in the Commonwealth that rely on manufacturing.  EPA’s current June 2016 deadline for states to develop and submit a plan would be difficult to meet. While we understand that states must begin to plan for upcoming regulatory changes, we are hesitant to support filing any plan before there is a clear ruling on the validity of the regulation.

Further, as you discussed in your letter and demonstrated on the Senate Floor during debate on the Senate Budget Resolution, EPA does not have the authority to withhold state funds— specifically state highway funds— should Kentucky be unable to submit a SIP.  EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy officially confirmed her agency does not have the authority to do so following the passage of the McConnell amendment to the FY2016 Senate Budget Resolution.

As you suggest, KAM will continue to encourage Kentucky officials to act deliberately under the program and consider the negative consequences of plan development and submittal before court review of the regulation.  KAM truly appreciates your leadership in Congress in the fight against EPA’s overreach and for standing up for manufacturers in the Commonwealth.

If we may be of further assistance to you in this endeavor, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,

Charles Gregory Higdon

President & CEO

Kentucky Association of Manufacturers

Sen. Rand Paul Participates in Bipartisan Panel Discussion on Criminal Justice Reform at Howard University

SOURCE:  Office of Senator Rand Paul

Sen. Paul at Howard University

Howard University Panel. Photo Courtesy: Senator Rand Paul

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Rand Paul yesterday took his conservative message of criminal justice reform to Howard University, a historically black college in Washington, D.C. The panel discussion titled, “From Protest to Politics: A Bipartisan Approach to Criminal Justice Reform” was moderated by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD). Panelists participating in the discussion included: Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Reps. Raul Labrador (R-ID), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), and Delegate Stacey Plaskett (D-VI).

“The War on Drugs has had a disproportional affect on minorities and our inner cities. Our current system is broken and has trapped tens of thousands of young men and women in a cycle of poverty and incarceration. It is my hope that my criminal justice reform legislation will help many of these young people escape this trap by reforming our criminal justice system, expunging records after time served, and preventing non-violent crimes from becoming a permanent blot on one’s record,” Sen. Paul said.

PHOTO(s) OF THE DAY

SOURCE:  Department of Defense /Defense News Lead Photo

Navy officers walk past shirts decorated for Sexual Assault Awareness Month during the Walk-A-Lap to Support Sexual Assault Survivors at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va. April 15, 2015. (DoD News photo by EJ Hersom)

Navy officers walk past shirts decorated for Sexual Assault Awareness Month during the Walk-A-Lap to Support Sexual Assault Survivors at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va. April 15, 2015. (DoD News photo by EJ Hersom)

150410-N-IG780-186 PANAMA CANAL, Panama (April 10, 2015) The guided-missile frigate USS Kauffman (FFG 59) transits the Panama Canal. Kauffman is underway in support of Operation Martillo, a joint operation with the U.S. Coast Guard and partner nations within the U.S. 4th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Shane A. Jackson/Released)

150410-N-IG780-186
PANAMA CANAL, Panama (April 10, 2015) The guided-missile frigate USS Kauffman (FFG 59) transits the Panama Canal. Kauffman is underway in support of Operation Martillo, a joint operation with the U.S. Coast Guard and partner nations within the U.S. 4th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Shane A. Jackson/Released)

Navy Cmdr. Maurice Buford, left, Chief Petty Officer Jeremy Crandall, right, and Petty Officer 2nd Class Danian Douglas stand in front of President Abraham Lincoln's tomb in Springfield, Ill., April 15, 2015, during an event to mark the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's assassination. Crandall is a cryptologic technician. Sailors assigned to the USS Abraham Lincoln also participated in ceremonies at Ford's Theater and President Lincoln's Cottage in Washington, D.C.

Navy Cmdr. Maurice Buford, left, Chief Petty Officer Jeremy Crandall, right, and Petty Officer 2nd Class Danian Douglas stand in front of President Abraham Lincoln’s tomb in Springfield, Ill., April 15, 2015, during an event to mark the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination. Crandall is a cryptologic technician. Sailors assigned to the USS Abraham Lincoln also participated in ceremonies at Ford’s Theater and President Lincoln’s Cottage in Washington, D.C.

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