Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes did not mention coal in a speech at a Washington fundraiser with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, according to a recording obtained by POLITICO.
Grimes’ campaign said last week she planned to use the event to demand the Senate take action to invest in clean coal technology. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign criticized Grimes for not mentioning coal and questioned her commitment to the state’s coal industry.
“Alison Lundergan Grimes just did exactly what every Kentuckian knew she would — tell them one thing and do another with Harry Reid,” McConnell campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore said in a statement. “If there was any question about what she would do as a senator, this tape erased all doubt.”
Grimes campaign spokeswoman Charly Norton said Grimes did not break her promise because she spoke to Reid privately about the issue. Reid said in a statement that Grimes has spoken with him many times about her opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency's new emission standards for coal-fired power plants.
Grimes and McConnell both have repeatedly voiced their opposition to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new carbon dioxide emission standards for coal-fired power plants. The proposed regulations seek to cut emissions by 30 percent nationwide and 18 percent in Kentucky.
Kentucky is the nation’s third-largest coal producer, generating 92 percent of the state’s electricity through coal in 2012.