"The clean power program," Maher began. "Some people called it a war on coal. I hope it is a war on coal. Is it?"
"Actually, EPA is all about fighting against pollution and fighting for public health," McCarthy said. "That's exactly what this is."
"Oh, great," Maher said to applause.
"Exactly," McCarthy responded.
Earlier in the month, McCarthy said the new regulations are "about environmental justice" because "lower income families, and communities of color are hardest hit."
She also dismissed concerns that electric bills would go up as a result of the new rules, saying the increase would be about the same as a gallon of milk. She went on to say that families "will see $7 dollars in health benefits" for every dollar spent on the new government plan. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, however, said the plan could cost the economy some $50 billion per year.
McCarthy also claimed that once the plan is fully in place -- which won't happen until about 2030 -- average electric bills will be about eight percent cheaper than now, Fox News' Shannon Bream said on Twitter.
CNN said the EPA will hold a public comment period and revise the proposal over the next year. States would have until the end of June 2016 to submit plans for achieving the reduced emissions target.
For many, McCarthy's admission is proof that Obama is fulfilling his promise to make energy prices skyrocket in order to advance his environmental agenda.
"Under my plan … electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket,” he told the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board in January 2008, speaking about his ideas on cap and trade. “If somebody wants to build a coal-fired power plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them.”
While Obama isn't getting his system of cap and trade, it appears he is well on the way to making Americans pay much more for electricity.
Video of the exchange can be seen above.