Josh Mandel’s campaign says Sherrod Brown balked at stopping a new EPA rule he knew would hurt Ohio

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Josh Mandel’s campaign says Sherrod Brown balked at stopping a new EPA rule he knew would hurt Ohio

PolitiFact Ohio – Sometimes in politics, a string of independent facts and impressive words can be thrown together to reach a negative or menacing conclusion. One or more of the facts might even be true in a speculative context, even if they don’t add up when put together. There is an art to this, and it can be a beautiful thing.

Such a claim crossed PolitiFact Ohio’s desk recently, and on its face it seemed plausible.

The claim, from U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel, was in response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement on March 27 that it was severely restricting greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants. Mandel, a Republican, is Ohio’s treasurer and hopes to unseat Democratic incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown.

In a news release on March 29, Mandel’s campaign used the EPA announcement to say that “Senator Sherrod Brown voted against an amendment to block the EPA from implementing this new rule, despite acknowledging that the EPA’s cap-and-trade regulations are ‘burdensome’ and could harm economic growth in Ohio.”

The harm to Ohio was this, said Mandel’s communications director, Travis Considine, who issued the news release: “According to the Sierra Club, these cap-and-trade regulations will ultimately put an end to coal fired power plants. This policy change would have a particularly negative effect on Ohio energy rates, because coal accounts for 86 percent of Ohio’s energy supply.”

It does sound bad, and being somewhat familiar with the ongoing battle over power plant regulation, PolitiFact Ohio wanted to learn more. We asked Considine for additional information, and asked Brown’s Senate office to respond. We also did some independent reporting.

Mandel’s claim began to fall apart pretty quickly.

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