President Obama's new plan to reduce America's carbon dioxide emissions 30 percent from 2005 levels is pushing energy to the front of what's expected to be a hotly contested gubernatorial race in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania incumbent Republican Gov. Tom Corbett wasted no time announcing his opposition to the new proposed regulations, calling them "job-killing" and a threat to more than 60,000 Pennsylvania workers.
“Pennsylvania is the country’s fourth-leading coal producer, and if President Obama and Tom Wolf had their way, they would be handing out pink slips to 62,000 Pennsylvanians,” Corbett said in a statement released Tuesday.
Wolf, a Democrat and Corbett's main challenger, has pushed climate change as part of his campaign platform throughout the Democratic primary and into the general election tilt with Corbett. However, Wolf, a York County businessman, has voiced his tentative support for the new regulations while stressing they need to be enacted responsibly. Wolf also is making sure to keep his support distant from Obama, who has mixed approval numbers in the Keystone state.
As the Washington Examiner's Rebecca Berg wrote recently, the new Environmental Protection Agency ruling puts Democratic challengers in a difficult position. The National Republican Senatorial Committee announced Tuesday it would be putting out robocalls in key Senate battleground states including Alaska, Virginia and Louisiana. The ads aim to link Democrats to broader environmental regulations proposed or implemented during Obama's time in office.
Natural gas is an economic driver in Pennsylvania and an industry on the rise, so expect energy to play a major role in this year’s gubernatorial election. Corbett’s approval numbers remain stuck in the low 30s, but the embattled Republican may be able to make up ground if he’s successful in tying Wolf to Obama and the proposed new EPA regulations.