Alexander Resists Pressure As Clean-Air Vote Looms

Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander says he will vote to uphold a clean-air rule, even as attackers say he’s siding with President Obama in a “war on coal.”

The political group American Commitment is lobbying for a vote to overturn the Environmental Protection Agency rule. And it’s spending close to a million dollars targeting pivotal senators like Alexander.

“Alexander supports new regulations that will hurt Tennessee families. Washington special interests call it the Utility MACT, but we call it billions in new costs, higher electricity prices, and fewer jobs for Tennessee workers.”

But Alexander says coal-fired plants in the state are already installing systems in line with the rule. He argues if other states don’t comply as well, their dirty air could make it harder for Tennessee to recruit jobs.

“We are literally surrounded by our neighbors’ smokestacks. If we in Tennessee want more Nissan plants and more Volkswagen plants, we’ll have to stop dirty air from blowing into Tennessee.”

The state has more than 500 coal-mining jobs, and Alexander says each one is important. But he argues Tennessee has more than a thousand other workers making pollution-control equipment required by the rule.

Alexander’s office says the Senate could vote on the matter next week.

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