EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSCapito Not Optimistic Change In Leadership Means Change In Coal Policy
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Kennie Bass
Videographer: John Tincher
Web Producer: Kennie Bass
Reported: Aug. 6, 2013 5:53 PM EDT
Updated: Aug. 6, 2013 6:11 PM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Low natural gas prices, soft domestic demand, moderate weather and power plants with large stockpiles have all been cited as reasons for the coal industry slump.
But add in tight regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency, which include restrictions on surface mining and emissions from coal-fired power plants and you have a perfect storm of trouble.
A West Virginia delegation of democrats visited new EPA director Gina McCarthy in Washington, D.C. and left saying she may be more sympathetic to coal concerns.
However, republican congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito says that may not be the case.
"The president sets the policy," Capito said. "We've seen over the last five years that the actions, no matter what they say, the actions are very punitive towards coal, towards jobs, towards our economy here in the state and I don't expect that to change unfortunately."
Chris Hamilton of the West Virginia Coal Association met with McCarthy. While he says it was nice to have an opportunity to list his worries, he's not ready to say the EPA is going to lighten up on the state's largest industry.
"I'm somewhat optimistic with establishing a new line of communications," Hamilton said. "I'm not optimistic that this president is going to change the course he's been on here for four or five years. This is an awful big ship to turn around in an awful small stream at this point."
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