W.Va. Coal Forum Focuses on EPA Standards and Economy

LOGAN, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Leaders in West Virginia spent the day talking about how the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) regulations to slow down global warming are hurting the state's economy.

They say new EPA standards could cause the closure of even more coal mines.

A coal forum was held in Logan County. Hundreds of high school students and coal supporters in the community packed into the Logan High School Fieldhouse to hear from state and regional leaders about their plans to protect coal jobs.

Many blame the EPA for the loss of thousands of coal jobs in our region.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin says there's a better way to approach it. He says he plans to work with the EPA rather than fighting it.

"We have made great strides in West Virginia in cleaning up our waterways, cleaning up the air and so-forth. Obviously we want to continue to have a good, clean environment," Tomblin said. "My goal is to work with the EPA, and let's get things where we can continue to mine coal and burn it cleanly."

Tomblin said he plans to ask the EPA for more time and to help the coal industry come up with the technology needed to sequester the carbon that will be illegal to emit within the next few months.

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