GOV. Earl Ray Tomblin acted responsibly in deciding to join 24 other states and Guam in challenging a new edict from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Lisa Jackson, EPA administrator, declared this summer that the EPA would, for the first time, regulate emissions of mercury and other chemicals from coal- and oil-fired plants that generate electricity.
The states and Guam want to delay the implementation of these new rules, saying it will cost thousands of jobs.
West Virginia alone can expect to lose 38,500 jobs over the next few years if the EPA regulation stands, Tomblin said.
That would be more than 5 percent of all the jobs in West Virginia. With the stakes this high, Tomblin has little choice but to make such a move.
No one is opposed to a clean environment. In fact, a Republican was president when the EPA was created.
All that the states and Guam want the court to do is make sure the EPA takes the time to fully address the economic impact of its new regulations.
"West Virginians, and all Americans, need reliable and cost-efficient energy in a healthy environment," Tomblin said in a statement.