Mark Udall: EPA’s Power Plant Rule a ‘Good Start’

Mark Udall / AP

Sen. Mark Udall (D., Colo.) called the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) plan to cut carbon emissions from power plants by 30 percent, which could cost industry $50 billion a year to comply, a "good start."

Udall said in a Monday statement that the EPA’s aggressive plan is necessary in order to "confront climate change."

Climate change is threatening Colorado's special way of life. Coloradans have seen firsthand the harmful effects of climate change, including severe drought, record wildfires and reduced snowpack.  Coloradans also have led the nation over the past decade in confronting this challenge and showing how we can reduce carbon emissions, protect our land, water and air, and strengthen our economy.

The EPA's draft rule is a good start, and I will fight to ensure it complements the work we have already done in Colorado and provides states the flexibility they need to make it successful.

The EPA estimates the proposed rule will cost utilities as much as $8.8 billion a year in compliance costs, but a U.S. Chamber of Commerce report released last week found that the plan could cost the economy up to $50 billion per year.

Democrats and Republicans criticized the proposal on Monday, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R., Ky.) Democratic opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes who called it "the president’s attack on Kentucky’s coal industry."

Udall is currently facing a tough reelection fight from Republican challenger Rep. Cory Gardner.  The Democratic incumbent is receiving help from environmentalist billionaire Tom Steyer, who is spending $100 million targeting GOP candidates, such as Gardner, who disagree with the Obama administration’s climate agenda.