Grimes' new radio ad goes after President Obama over coal plant emissions rules

06/04/2014 07:53 AM

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes’ latest radio is addressed to Democratic President Barack Obama, tells the president he has “no idea” how proposed regulations will affect Kentucky’s coal industry and says Obama will hear much about that from her if she’s elected.

The one-minute spot began airing Wednesday across the state in a six-figure ad buy, according to the Grimes campaign. And it spends way more time slamming the new rules and the president from Grimes’ own party whose administration conceived the regulations than it does criticizing Grimes’ opponent, Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Grimes narrates the ad and begins by saying she has a “message for President Obama.”

“It’s clear you have no idea how this affects Kentucky. Coal supplies 92 percent of our state’s electricity. Your new regulations will lead to severe rate increases, shortages of power and the loss of even more coal jobs,” Grimes said.

She adds that Kentucky has the fifth highest unemployment rate in the country, a fact that both Grimes and McConnell have highlighted in their campaign. McConnell uses that to link Grimes to Obama — as he has done with the coal regulations — because both are Democrats. Grimes has cited the numbers as a knock against McConnell, who has been in the U.S. Senate since January 1985. And in the ad, she took the same approach with the loss of coal industry jobs specifically.

“It’s bad enough we’ve lost 18,000 coal jobs since Mitch McConnell became senator. It’s even worse that Sen. McConnell says it’s not his job to bring jobs to Kentucky. Now you give us this,” Grimes says at the end of the spot.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released regulations Monday aimed at curbing carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent in each state by 2030. The regulations give states flexibility about how to accomplish that, including replacing coal-fired power plants with other sources of energy that emit less carbon dioxide or cutting electricity demand.

Most Kentucky officials and candidates — including McConnell and Grimes — have blasted the regulations, saying they will cripple the coal mining industry that has been crucial to Eastern Kentucky’s economy, although the mining industry has shrunk in recent years.

McConnell introduced a bill Tuesday that would require other federal agencies to verify that the new EPA rules wouldn’t harm the economy and result in job losses before the regulations take effect.

McConnell’s campaign said Wednesday that Grimes’ concern for the coal industry is “belated” because she supported Obama’s renomination in 2012 as she served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

“It is a fact that Alison Lundergan Grimes lined up as a delegate behind Barack Obama after he announced he would wage a war on coal and said nothing as thousands of Kentuckians lost their jobs,” McConnell said. “Her belated concern about the war on coal now that she’s a candidate, after helping to ensure it by backing Obama, is insulting and transparently political.”


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