With West Virginia the nation’s second-leading coal producer, several of its elected officials see nothing positive from President Barack Obama’s plan to target carbon dioxide from power plants.
Fellow Democrat and U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall called Tuesday’s proposal misguided, misinformed and untenable. Rahall and GOP Reps. Shelley Moore Capito and David McKinley warn it will kill mining jobs while driving up utility bills.
Obama argued Tuesday that similar predictions about previous environmental protections failed to come true.
The president is deeply unpopular in West Virginia, at least partly because of his coal policies. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s administration is suing federal environmental regulators in one legal challenge and supporting mining interests in another.
Attorney General Patrick Morrisey joined fellow Republican counterparts elsewhere to criticize the plan as burdensome environmental overregulation.