Democrats in Republican-leaning states have a simple strategy for dealing with President Barack Obama’s upcoming power plant restrictions before the mid-term elections: Fight them, with the White House’s blessing.
The new rules, popular with the Democratic Party’s base, are one of Obama’s highest domestic priorities for his second term.
But they are complicating the lives of Democrats in coal and oil-rich states such as West Virginia, Louisiana and Alaska, where candidates are piling on the president and the Environmental Protection Agency for proposing restrictions that could cost jobs locally.
With control of the U.S. Senate up for grabs in the November congressional elections, Democrats’ hopes of maintaining their majority could rest on the very races where the new energy rules are deeply unpopular.
So, the White House is turning a blind eye to attacks from within the party, despite the importance of the regulations to Obama’s agenda and post-presidential legacy.