Policy: Environment & Energy

Coal country and EPA rules: Not always partisan

Illinois,EPA,Energy and Environment,Coal

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — If all politics are local, a key industry in a lawmaker's turf may be enough to have him at odds with his own party's figurehead — President Barack Obama.

That's the case for Democrat Bill Enyart, a first-term Illinois congressman seeking re-election in a contested southern Illinois' 12th District race.

Enyart calls the Obama administration's draft plan to limit carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants an "unnecessary regulatory attack on our coal plants." Enyart's territory is die-hard coal-mining country, and many colleagues on both sides of the aisle from other coal states share his assessment.

David Yepsen heads the Paul Simon Public Policy Center at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. He says it's not about lawmaker partisanship but about defending constituencies, which Yepsen cautions may upset traditionally Democratic environmentalists.

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