W.Va. Sues Obama, EPA Over Mining Coal Regulations

October 7, 2010 03:41

“Over the past year and a half, we have been fighting President Obama’s administration’s attempts to destroy our coal industry and way of life in West Virginia,” Manchin said today.

By PATRICK REIS of GREENWIRE via The New York times


West Virginia, at the direction of Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin, sued the Obama administration today to overturn new federal rules on mountaintop removal mining.

The suit has been filed at a politically sensitive time in West Virginia, as Manchin competes in a tighter-than-expected special Senate election where his ties to national Democrats have become a primary issue.

The agency has “usurped the authority of the state and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to oversee and regulate important aspects of our environment, like water quality,” Manchin said today. “These actions by U.S. EPA are threatening not only to end surface coal mining in West Virginia but to affect all forms of mining in the state.”

The National Mining Association last month also sued EPA to void the rules, and 16 representatives — including Democrats Zack Space of Ohio and Rick Boucher of Virginia — have signed on to legislation (H.R. 6113 (pdf)) that would require EPA to revert to its pre-Obama permitting program.

“Their belly is full of what EPA is trying to jam down their throat,” Raney said.

Raese has pounded Manchin over coal issues and ties to Obama, whose approval rating in the state sits well below 40 percent. The Republican this week launched an ad claiming Manchin supports national cap-and-trade climate legislation — a charge Manchin’s campaign has repeatedly denied — and calling the governor a “rubber stamp” for Obama’s policies.


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