WCHS Eyewitness News Home Charleston Eyewitness Newsroom Charleston Storm Team Weather Sports News TV Program Schedule Community Mobile: Smartphone,Tablet and SMS text Get Connected SMS Text Facebook Twitter See-It,Shoot-It RSS News Feed Email List Tumblr

Residents Sound Off On New EPA Rules

Reported: Jun. 2, 2014 11:38 AM EDT
Updated: Jun. 2, 2014 6:57 PM EDT

News Image

BARBOURSVILLE, W.Va. (Darrah Wilcox) --Coal is a topic that's near and dear to the hearts of many West Virginians.

Many people in the region, if they haven't worked in the coal mines themselves, have relatives or friends who have.

"I got friends, and I used to work in it myself years ago," Lindell Marker of Sod said.

That's why many said the federal rule change, announced earlier in the day by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and designed to curb emissions contributing to climate change, not only threatens their livelihood, but that of future generations.

"I don't think it's a good thing. I really don't," Marker said.

The plan calls for a 30 percent cut in carbon emissions from U.S. power plants by 2030. Some say the change will only serve to benefit future generations.

"I think making this world better and safer for generations to come-- it's imperative," Taylor Blackwelder said.

Blackwelder, from the D.C area, moved to West Virginia about two years ago. She said it's time for West Virginia to move toward cleaner means of producing electricity, and is happy to see the EPA take action.

"They're doing the right thing. It's really easy to blame it because it's the government and we all have our opinions on that," she said.

Marker said he's afraid the move will be even more devastating to a work force that continues to lose jobs.

"Oh, I think it's going to have a big effect. I don't like to see anybody lose their jobs," he said.

Blackwelder said the economy should evolve.

"Everybody, everywhere - not just with coal miners, but we have to make changes everywhere. Learning different ways to make money we can do that.," she said.

Each side is agreeing to continue to disagree for now.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Heath Harrison) -- A group of elected leaders and officials connected to the coal industry spoke out Monday against newly-proposed rules on carbon dioxide emissions from President Barack Obama and the U.S. Environmental Protection agency.

The federal rule change, announced earlier in the day by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy (VIDEO) is designed to curb emissions contributing to climate change. It calls for a 30 percent cut in carbon emissions from U.S. power plants by 2030.

"For the sake of our families’ health and our kids’ future, we have a moral obligation to act on climate," she said, mentioning potential benefits in business, innovation and investment,” McCarthy said in the announcement.

The EPA said it is proposing guidelines to build on trends which already underway in the energy industry to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants, making them more efficient and less polluting.

In West Virginia, many political leaders took issue with the EPA’s move.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin was joined by U.S. Reps. Nick Rahall and Shelley Moore Capito, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, President and Chief Operating Officer of Appalachian Power Charles Patton, President of the West Virginia Coal Association Bill Raney and President of the United Mine Workers of America Cecil Roberts at a press conference at the Capitol Monday afternoon.

“In the coming months, we will work with individuals, groups and businesses across West Virginia to understand and mitigate the impact the new rules may have,” Tomblin said.

The governor said several proposals caused the group concern.

"If these rules are put into place, our manufacturers may be forced to look overseas for more reasonable energy costs, taking good paying jobs with them and leaving hardworking West Virginians without jobs to support their families," Tomblin said. "We must make every effort to create opportunities for our young people, not hinder them."

Meanwhile, outside of the press conference, officials and organizations responded to the carbon rule change.

The West Virginia Coal Forum expressed frustration with new carbon rules.

“This new rule, coupled with other recent emission-related regulations promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has forced the closure or planned closure of hundreds of power plants across the country,” the group said in a statement. “ As coal-fired power plants close, the need for West Virginia coal to power them - and the thousands of miners who produce it – goes away.”

The West Virginia Sierra Club reacted positively to the White House’s move, saying the move will clean up the industries that they said create the lion’s share of carbon pollution in the nation.

“The new safeguards not only protect our health and communities, but they will spur innovation and strengthen our economy,” the Sierra Club said in a statement. “By transitioning to clean energy sources like energy efficiency, we’ll create thousands of new jobs and millions of dollars in new investment right here in West Virginia. Cutting pollution that harms our communities will also save billions of dollars in health costs, infrastructure repair, and disaster recovery costs.”

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D.W.Va., said the proposed rule change would hurt West Virginia’s economy. He said the rule change also failed to address the climate change problem with global solutions.

“The EPA has proposed rules that are not based on any existing technology that has been proven on a commercial scale,” Manchin said in a statement. “That is why we must continue to invest in innovative technologies, including clean coal and natural gas technologies, to ensure our energy supply remains accessible, affordable and reliable for all Americans. Our great country should be a leader in developing the technologies so that we can export them to the world, but it is unreasonable to require the use of technologies that do not yet work at the commercial scale.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia officials are determining impacts from federal plans to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 30 percent by 2030.

An Environmental Protection Agency rule announced Monday is at the center of President Barack Obama's plans to reduce pollution tied to global warming.

West Virginia gets 96 percent of its electricity from coal, the highest ratio nationally.

The federal goal for West Virginia would drop emissions by 19.8 percent by 2030, compared to 2012 levels.

State Democrats and Republicans have long argued the administration wrongly targets the coal industry.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin spokesman Chris Stadelman said the office is trying to determine West Virginia's specific impact.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said he would take all legal actions necessary against the rule.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

West Nile Found In Cabell Mosquitoes
Aug. 20, 2014 11:48 PM EDT
The West Nile Virus has been detected in the West Virginia ...
Full News Story

Police Looking For Men Accused Of Robbing Pizza Delivery Driver
Aug. 20, 2014 10:52 PM EDT
Charleston police are investigating after a pizza delivery ...
Full News Story

Putnam County Man Convicted of Rape; Says He is Innocent
Aug. 20, 2014 10:31 PM EDT
Back in court, Joseph Lavigne Jr. was hoping for two ...
Full News Story and Video

News Early Morning Car Burglaries in Putnam County
Aug. 20, 2014 10:15 PM EDT
News Charleston Police Continue Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over Campaign
Aug. 20, 2014 9:11 PM EDT
News Police Say At Least One Person Breaks Into Pharmacy, Steals Prescription Drugs
Aug. 20, 2014 9:01 PM EDT
News Capito, Tennant To Compete In Chamber Senate Forum
Aug. 20, 2014 8:47 PM EDT
News Mom Facing Charges After Kicking Son Out Of Car, Leaving Him to Walk Home
Aug. 20, 2014 8:31 PM EDT
News Charges Dropped Against Supreme Court Justice Margaret Workman's Son
Aug. 20, 2014 8:58 PM EDT
News Dog Saves Owners' Lives
Aug. 20, 2014 6:36 PM EDT
News State Mine Board To Decide On Kanawha State Forest Mine
Aug. 20, 2014 6:11 PM EDT
News Jury Rules In Case Involving Logger Accused Of Illegally Cutting At Coonskin
Aug. 20, 2014 9:16 PM EDT
News Five Arrested In Franklin Furnace; Linked To Stolen Property Cases In The Area
Aug. 20, 2014 5:06 PM EDT
News WVAW Issues Boil Water Advisory For 75 Customers In Barboursville
Aug. 20, 2014 4:47 PM EDT
News Firefighters Say Residential Fire Started In Heat Fan
Aug. 20, 2014 4:22 PM EDT
News Police Say Man Arrested In Calhoun County Is Wanted In Maryland
Aug. 20, 2014 7:04 PM EDT
News Deputies Say Man Arrested In Connection To Drug Offenses During Traffic Stop
Aug. 20, 2014 7:05 PM EDT
News Second Arrest Made In Eastern KY Fatal Fire
Aug. 20, 2014 7:01 PM EDT
News YMCA Honors Former WV Governor
Aug. 20, 2014 7:00 PM EDT
News Health Officials Say Two Ohioans Have West Nile Virus
Aug. 20, 2014 2:10 PM EDT
News MU Welcomes Incoming Students
Aug. 21, 2014 10:16 AM EDT
News Victim's Name Released In Jackson County Fatal Fire
Aug. 20, 2014 8:29 PM EDT
News New Elementary School Opens In Jackson County
Aug. 20, 2014 1:36 PM EDT
News Fourth Arrest Made In Connection To Foodland Robbery And Shooting
Aug. 20, 2014 1:19 PM EDT
News Multiple Businesses Struck By "Marble" Vandals
Aug. 20, 2014 12:05 AM EDT
News Victim's Name Release In Deadly Crash Involving Train
Aug. 19, 2014 11:15 PM EDT
News Increased Heroin Calls Delay Ambulance Runs
Aug. 19, 2014 11:14 PM EDT
News Bridge Valley Opens New Training Center For Workforce Development
Aug. 19, 2014 10:19 PM EDT
News Overcrowding Forces Braxton County Students To Transfer Schools
Aug. 19, 2014 9:30 PM EDT
News Reports Of Sheen On Elk River Tuesday
Aug. 19, 2014 8:52 PM EDT
News Vacant Properties Auctioned Off In Huntington
Aug. 19, 2014 8:22 PM EDT
News $1 Million Powerball Ticket Goes Unclaimed
Aug. 19, 2014 8:04 PM EDT
News Former GOP Presidential Candidate Stumps For WV Republicans
Aug. 19, 2014 7:46 PM EDT

Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

West Virginia News
Logger cleared in W.Va. park timbering case

A Charleston man has been cleared of charges stemming from a logging operation in a Kanawha County park after the 2012 derecho.
Full Story

Kentucky News
Ham sells for $2 million at charity auction

A nearly 16-pound ham has sold for $2 million at the Kentucky State Fair.
Full Story

Ohio News
2 indicted in Ohio businessman's fatal shooting

Two men accused in an Ohio businessman's fatal shooting have been indicted on charges including aggravated murder.
Full Story

Fugitive Files Tuesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

West Virginia Wildlife Wednesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

ABC News web site

Send Mail Send email to news@wchstv.com for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2014, WCHS-TV8. Portions are Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.

WCHS ABC 8 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Charleston and nearby towns and communities in the Tri-State area, including Huntington, Dunbar, Marmet, Montgomery, Nitro, South Charleston, St. Albans, Cedar Grove, Chesapeake, Clendenin, East Bank, Glasgow, Pratt, Cross Lanes, Elkview, Pinch, Sissonville, Big Chimney, Cabin Creek, Chelyan, Davis Creek, Institute, Jefferson, Loudendale, Mink Shoals, Pocatalico, Quick, Quincy, Rand, Buffalo, Eleanor, Hurricane, Nitro, Poca, Winfield, Culloden, Fraziers Bottom, Hometown, Red House, Scott Depot, Teays Valley, Danville, Madison, Hamlin, Logan, Chapmanville, Man, Delbarton, Kermit, Gilbert, Matewan, Williamson, Summersville, Richwood, Flatwoods, Gassaway, Sutton, Spencer, Ravenswood, Ripley, Mason, Point Pleasant, Ashland, Pikeville, Ironton, Portsmouth, Gallipolis, and Athens.