Morrisey Reaches out to EPA - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Morrisey Reaches out to EPA

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Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said Wednesday he would be behind educating communities throughout the state on carbon emission regulations.

Morrisey said Wednesday he sent a letter to Gina McCarthy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator, urging her to include the state on the Environmental Protection's "Listening Tour" about such regulations. He said areas of the state most affected by the regulations would include Fairmont, Logan and Moundsville.

"West Virginia is the second largest producer of coal in the nation," Morrisey said in a statement. "These new EPA regulations greatly affect our communities and Mountain State citizens' opinions deserve to be considered."

Morrisey said he applauded the EPA's decision to seek input from people nationwide. However, limiting the tour to the 11 largest cities including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver and Seattle, it excludes locations that would be impacted the hardest by the regulations, he said.

The office of the attorney general would be willing to assist the EPA to help set-up an event in the state if the agency decides to expand the number of stops on the tour.

"For too long, the EPA has overlooked the real-work and human side of their regulations – opting instead to look at the potential outcomes," Morrisey said. "I believe it is important for someone from the EPA to come to West Virginia and hear from local residents why coal is important and must remain an important part of our nation's energy portfolio."

"If a coal mine is shuttered, in part, due to onerous and impractical regulations, it can destroy the fabric of several towns or an entire county."

"I think it's important for the EPA at least to look in the eyes of the men and women whose lives could be dramatically changed forever because of these proposed regulations and give them the courtesy of hearing their opinion."