By Laura Barron-Lopez - 06/09/14 03:55 PM EDT
Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes (Ky.) had "strong words" for Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidNearly 400 House bills stuck in Senate limbo Puerto Rico debt relief faces serious challenges in Senate McCain files B amendment to boost defense spending MORE on the administration's new rules limiting carbon pollution, according to her campaign.
"Alison Lundergan Grimes had strong words with Senator Reid regarding her displeasure with President Obama's new [Environmental Protection Agency] regulations and the negative impact it could have on Kentucky families," Grimes campaign manger Jonathan Hurst said in an email Monday.
The new rules would require the nation's existing fleet of power plants to cut carbon dioxide emissions 30 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels.
During a fundraiser with Reid in Washington days after the rules were unveiled, Grimes pressed the majority leader on the administration's proposal.
"She offered real stories of Kentuckians struggling to make ends meet and stressed that we need a comprehensive, balanced approach that reigns in the EPA, invests in clean coal technology, and keeps foreign markets open for Kentucky coal," Hurst said.
Reid's office confirmed the substance of the conversation, but no independent verification was available.
However, according to an audio recording of the fundraiser obtained by Politico, Grimes didn't mention coal, or the new rules in her 11-minute speech at all.
Politico also reports that according to a Washington consultant who attended the fundraiser “there is no way” Grimes could have met privately with Reid since he left before the Kentuckian, and arrived late.
When asked by The Hill about the report, a spokesman for Grimes campaign said they stand by their earlier statment, and that both sides have confirmed the meeting took place.
Grimes has notably voiced that she is livid about the new rules, and has flipped the "war on coal" script on her opponent Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellMcConnell: Trump White House will have ‘constraints’ Nearly 400 House bills stuck in Senate limbo McConnell-allied group: We'll back Rubio if he runs for reelection MORE (R-Ky.) a number of times, blaming him for failing to prevent the EPA rules.
Still, McConnell has sought to tether Grimes to her alliance with Reid and other liberal Democrats who back the administration's environmental policies.