Lawmakers react to plans to repeal Clean Power Plan


BRIDGEPORT. W. Va. (WDTV) -- On Monday, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced his agency's plans to withdraw the Clean Power Plan.

State leaders have released statements since the announcement.

“I am pleased that the EPA, Administrator Pruitt and President Trump are pursuing an all-of-the-above energy policy that acknowledges and respects the role coal will play in our energy portfolio. For eight years, the misguided Obama-era policies attacked coal and our hard-working coal miners," said Senator Joe Manchin. “West Virginia and the United States should lead the global clean-energy economy and with an administration working as a partner, instead of an opponent, we are poised to do just that.”

“This is great news for our state and the coal industry,” said Gov. Jim Justice. “Coal has been steadily recovering, we’ve seen an upturn in severance taxes and this decision will clearly help put our coal miners back to work.

“President Trump promised me he was going to take care of our miners and he is doing just that,” Gov. Justice added. “We are pleased that the director of the EPA is taking these steps to repeal the current rule.”

Earlier in the day, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said, “From the very beginning, I said the Obama Power Plan was blatant and unlawful federal overreach. I was humbled to have led the state-based coalition that defeated the Power Plan in court through an unprecedented stay at the Supreme Court and am excited that the Trump Administration is taking the final step to kill this terrible, job-killing regulation. I believe these actions will help lead to a rebound for coal and will make lives better for coal miners and their families.”

Senator Shelley Moore Capito released a statement, reading, “For years, the Obama administration waged a war on coal and issued heavy-handed regulations to pick winners and losers among energy industries. In West Virginia, our coal miners, their families and entire communities felt the blow of that misguided approach to energy production. It’s refreshing to see how committed the Trump administration is to pursuing a true all-of-the-above energy policy, and Administrator Pruitt’s announcement is another sign that America’s energy strategy is headed in the right direction.

“Our country can be a real global leader when it comes to energy production, but we can’t shutter entire industries that have helped power this country for decades. We should responsibly embrace all forms of energy production, do what we can to improve them and continue to explore new and innovative energy options. I appreciate the Trump administration’s commitment to creating and preserving good energy jobs and expanding America’s energy potential, and I look forward to continuing to work together to achieve these important goals.”

“After eight years of radical environmental policies from the White House, we now have a president focused on bringing coal jobs back. President Trump promised to fight for our miners and our way of life, and he is keeping his word. The Obama administration used this rule to pick winners and losers at the expense of West Virginia’s jobs. I will continue to work with President Trump on solutions that will move West Virginia forward, create more jobs, and return the EPA to its core mission,” Rep. Evan Jenkins said.

“This is an exciting time for our state and its coal industry, and we certainly should feel optimistic about the future,” said WV Senate President Carmichael. “I am thankful to President Trump and his commitment to both West Virginia and American energy independence, and for keeping his promise to lessen the burdensome regulations that were strangling our state’s coal production and harming the hard-working families who depend on this industry for a living. The West Virginia State Senate has worked tirelessly to support our coal miners, and I believe this is just another step toward the resurgence of this great industry.”