For months, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), who is being challenged for her Senate seat this November, has touted her supposed “clout” and power as the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairwoman. But, since the Obama administration and the EPA released a plan to cut carbon emissions from power plants by 30 percent, Landrieu has retracted those previous claims, now admitting that she does not hold as much power as she once thought she did.
Before, Landrieu has run ads and told reporters repeatedly that she has loads of power as the Senate Energy Chairwoman, with it being a major selling-point for her re-election campaign and Landrieu asking if voters would want to loose that control on the energy committee.
Now, Landrieu is saying that the EPA plans are entirely out of her hands, though she says she is a strong opponent of the plan, which has been criticized for attempting to destroy the power grid across the country.
“Most of that jurisdiction is in the [Environment and Public Works Committee] not the Energy Committee,” Landrieu told reporters when asked if she’d use her perch on Senate Energy to push back against the rules.
Just a week ago, Landrieu told the Washington Post that voters should think heavily about if they want to trade a Senate Energy Chairwoman for a rookie, referring to her likely run-off Republican challenger Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA).
And though Landrieu has attacked the EPA’s rules, saying that the issue should be pushed not through regulation, but through congressional action, she has also said that she does in fact agree with some of the EPA rules. Landrieu said the rules will give flexibility and long lead times to states so that they can choose how they will reduce carbon.
Landrieu told the Hill that she “thinks” she has signed onto an effort by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) that will block the new EPA rules.