Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is trying to distance herself from the Obama administration’s new plan to restrict carbon emissions, but her fundraising activities are creating a dilemma for her campaign and ammunition for her opponents.
After the EPA announced aggressive new plans on Monday to limit carbon emissions from fossil-fuel power plants, Grimes said in a statement that the rule "is more proof that Washington isn’t working for Kentucky."
"Coal keeps the lights on in the Commonwealth, providing a way for thousands of Kentuckians to put food on their tables," Grimes said in a statement. "When I’m in the U.S. Senate, I will fiercely oppose the president’s attack on Kentucky’s coal industry because protecting our jobs will be my number one priority."
Grimes’ spokesman toldPolitico that she is "absolutely livid" about the new rule.
Her campaign even took ads out in Kentucky newspapers featuring a miner holding a lump of coal. "President Obama and Washington don’t get it," the ad says. "Alison Grimes does."
Yet Grimes is also scheduled to attend a fundraiser Thursday in Washington, D.C., with Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.), who praised Monday’s EPA announcement.
"Addressing climate change, cutting pollution, and creating jobs through clean energy is the right thing to do, and we need a national policy to put our country on the right course to achieve these goals," Reid said. "Our planet, our children and seniors, and our public health will be greatly strengthened by the EPA’s protections."
Grimes is running to unseat GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and the campaigns have attacked each other as enlistees in the Obama administration’s "War on Coal."
The McConnell camp on Monday said Grimes’ fundraising partners show her true colors.
"If there is any question as to who Grimes will support in D.C., look no further than the fundraiser she's having with anti-coal liberal Majority Leader Harry Reid this week, just days after the Obama administration announced new government regulations aimed at destroying Kentucky's coal industry," the McConnell campaign said in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon. "A vote for Alison Lundergan Grimes is a vote for Harry Reid and Barack Obama to continue their War on Coal."
Grimes spokeswoman told Politico she would use the fundraiser to speak out for more investments in clean coal technology.