Dirty coal and climate denial are hot topics in West Virginia right now. Last week, acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D-WV) delivered West Virginia’s State of the State address where he gave a spirited defence of “carbon friendly” coal. Then the very next day the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stole the spotlight by vetoing what would have been the largest mountaintop removal project in the state.
Tomblin, who replaces former Governor and newly minted Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), emphasized his support for the expanded use of coal as a vital part of the nation’s energy mix. He also vowed to aggressively pursue West Virginia’s lawsuit against EPA until a more “sensible” approach can be found to regulate coal’s global warming emissions.
Governor Tomblin’s comments do not break new ground and will tie West Virginia to coal despite the fact that the industry negatively impacts the state’s economy. His counterparts Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and the aforementioned Joe Manchin are already well known for frequently overlooking the negative impacts of coal.