Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina took aim directly at the EPA’s latest set of global warming rules in the first round of presidential debates Thursday night, saying President Barack Obama’s “progressive” agenda needed to be peeled back.
“I would begin by undoing a whole set of things that President Obama has done, whether it’s illegal amnesty or this latest round of EPA regulations,” Fiorina said in a debate with other Republican presidential candidates hosted by Fox News.
Fiorina was the only candidate to take on the EPA’s latest set of rules limiting carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. The agency aims to reduce U.S. power plant emissions 32% below 2005 levels by 2030, claiming such reductions would bring billions of dollars in public health benefits along with jobs.
Environmentalists welcomed the rule, but Republicans, energy companies, and a coalition of states have expressed fervent opposition to Obama’s latest attempt to appease the international community ahead of the United Nations climate summit later this year. Democrats have also come out against the rule, saying it will harm their state’s economy and kill jobs.
“This rule seems designed to establish by regulation the ‘cap and trade’ plan that I voted against in 2009,” Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, one of three Democrats to come out against the rule so far, said in a statement. We need to find a better way to protect our environment without disproportionately shifting the burden onto all Hoosier families.”
States have already challenged the rule, asking the EPA to push back compliance deadlines. These same states, and maybe others, could also file suit against the EPA after the rule is published in the Federal Register.
Fiorina is looking to tap into that frustration with the Obama administration’s environmental policies, which are causing Democratic lawmakers and labor unions to turn against him.
“And we have to undo a whole set of things that President Obama has done to get at the heart of his disrespect and disregard for too many Americans,” Fiorina added after remarking on what she sees as the difference between conservatives and progressives.
This report, by Michael Bastasch, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.