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News that China burns 17 percent more coal than originally believed calls into question whether the world's largest carbon dioxide emitter will work with the United States on climate change, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday.

McConnell was a critic of the climate change deal worked out between the United States and China in 2014 and has been a vocal critic of President Obama's Clean Power Plan. After the New York Times reported Wednesday that China uses 17 percent more coal than thought, McConnell said it showed where China's priorities really lie.

"The news that China's government is already backing away from its commitment, before the Paris talks even begin, should come as no surprise," he said.

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