Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

November 13, 2012

Fighting the EPA Morrisey should proceed with vigor

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— West Virginia’s incoming attorney general, Republican Patrick Morrisey, is promising to fight the federal Environmental Protection Agency in court when it comes to protecting West Virginia coal. We would urge him to proceed with vigor.

It is welcomed to know that West Virginia will finally have an attorney general who is willing to fight the EPA in court, and to stand up for Mountain State coal miners and their families.

Morrisey, an Eastern Panhandle lawyer, defeated five-term Democrat Darrell McGraw in the attorney general’s race last week. Morrisey’s victory was not only an upset over the veteran Democrat, but also a rarity for Mountain State politics. West Virginia hasn’t had a Republican attorney general since 1933.

While McGraw served his state well over the years, he unfortunately failed to take a leadership role on behalf of the state against Washington’s war on coal. Morrisey is now promising to take up this long-delayed fight. That’s great news for the coalfields of southern West Virginia, and the thousands of coal miners and their families in the region who are being threatened by the Obama administration’s senseless war on coal.

It is critical that we have a strong attorney general who is willing to fight, and go to court, against the federal government when it overreaches its authority, as several federal court rulings say the EPA has.

Morrisey says he hopes to work alongside Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, a Democrat, in fighting the EPA, and addressing other issues including how the state operates Medicaid and plans to play a role in whether it follows the recently upheld federal health care law.

We see no reason why Tomblin and Morrisey shouldn’t be able to work together — and effectively — on fighting the EPA, and other critical issues. In fact, the two must work together for the greater good of West Virginia.

“Depending on the issue involved we could technically go forward on our own, but the preference will be to ensure that the governor is going to join us,” Morrisey said in an Associated Press report last week. “We will review all federal regulations that we think have had an effect on the state of West Virginia and we will not be shy about saying what we think about those regulations.”

We are glad to hear that Morrisey plans to hit the ground running in fighting against the EPA, and in support of Mountain State coal miners and their families. His election as attorney general should go a long ways in helping to turn the tide against Washington’s war on coal.

We look forward to his first day on the job. West Virginia coal miners, and their families, should have a powerful new ally in Morrisey. Now, the Mountain State will have an attorney general who will actively fight Washington and the EPA. This is good news for the coalfields of southern West Virginia.