Democratic officials and coal advocates Tuesday called again on the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to visit West Virginia on its tour discussing new regulations.
Fourteen lawmakers, advocates and politicos signed a letter from the state Democratic Executive Committee sent to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. The letter asks McCarthy to visit West Virginia and criticizes the agency for policies coal advocates argue pose a serious threat to the industry.
"West Virginia and other coal-producing states deserve a seat at the table, and we are hopeful that you will give us that opportunity," the letter states.
The same group recently traveled to the White House to meet with McCarthy and other officials. After the meeting, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and others who attended thought it was productive.
However, West Virginia Democrats and Republicans alike cried foul when the EPA announced it would not be coming to the state on its tour to discuss the best ways to reduce carbon emissions.
The tour comes after a June announcement from President Barack Obama that the administration is pursuing a plan to cut carbon emissions, push clean energy technology and call on other counties to shutter coal-fired power plants.
The tour, which wrapped up last week, never came closer to West Virginia than Washington, D.C., Philadelphia or Atlanta.
Names listed on the letter include: Manchin; Rep. Nick Rahall; Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin; state Democratic Party Chairman Larry Puccio; state Senate President Jeff Kessler; Speaker of the House Tim Miley; Secretary of State Natalie Tennant; state Auditor Glen Gainer; Kanawha County Delegate Meshea Poore; West Virginia AFL-CIO President Kenny Perdue; United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts; West Virginia Coal Association Vice President Chris Hamilton; congressional candidate Nick Casey; and party vice chairwoman Belinda Biafore.
A copy of the letter is available at www.dailymail.com.
Reps. Shelley Moore Capito and David McKinley, both R-W.Va., have each issued similar criticisms about the EPA not coming to West Virginia.