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October 10, 2015

McConnell Renews Skepticism Ahead of Democrats’ Climate Change All-Nighter

McConnell speaks at a September news conference opposing the EPA's proposed greenhouse gas standards for new power plants (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

McConnell speaks at a September news conference opposing the EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas standards for new power plants. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Days before Senate Democrats plan to keep the lights on all night to discuss the dangers of climate change, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is renewing his skepticism of any man-made role.

“For everybody who thinks it’s warming, I can find somebody who thinks it isn’t,” the Kentucky Republican told the Cincinnati Enquirer in an extended interview.

McConnell has been an ardent defender of the Kentucky coal industry, trying to stop Environmental Protection Agency rulemaking that would limit emissions from new stationary power plants, though McConnell’s resolution under the Congressional Review Act has virtually no chance of success.

The Democratic effort will serve as quite a contrast to McConnell.

“Climate change is real, it is caused by humans, and it is solvable,” Sen. Brian Schatz, an organizer of the event, said in a statement.

“Congress must act,” the Hawaii Democrat said. “On Monday night we’re going to show the growing number of senators who are committed to working together to confront climate change.”

At least 28 senators in the Democratic caucus are expected to participate in the all-night session on climate change Monday into Tuesday, according to an announcement released Friday. The list excludes a number of Democrats from oil- and coal-producing states, including some seeking re-election in 2014.

However, McConnell told the Enquirer that other countries would not join in similar efforts curtailing emissions from coal-fired power plants.

“Even if you conceded the point, which I don’t concede, but if you conceded the point, it isn’t going to be addressed by one country,” he said. “So the idea is, we tie our own hands behind our back and others don’t. I think it’s beyond foolish and real people are being hurt by this.”

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