Delegate-elect Morgan Griffith, R-Va., has also proclaimed cap and trade as dead in the U.S. House of Representatives. However, the fight could just be beginning when it comes to new climate change and energy policy regulations.
That’s why it is imperative for all local lawmakers to stand united in support of West Virginia and Virginia jobs when it comes to any future climate change bills that could adversely impact the region’s coal and natural gas industry. For their parts, Manchin and Griffith actively campaigned against cap and trade, and appear ready to fight the job-killing policies of the Environmental Protection Agency. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., and Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., have both co-sponsored legislation that attempts to restrict the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases. And both say they will continue to fight in support of West Virginia coal.
We would also expect Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., to actively challenge any federal legislation that would adversely impact the coalfields of Southwest Virginia. While Manchin, Griffith, Rahall and Rockefeller have been vocal in support of the region’s coal industry, we haven’t heard much from Webb or Warner as of late on this all-important topic. That’s a concern.
The residents of Southwest Virginia certainly deserve to know where Webb and Warner stand on climate change, and cap-and-trade bills.
For the moment, we will take Reid’s statement as a reprieve for the region. If cap and trade is, in fact, dead in the U.S. Senate, as well as in the soon-to-be Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives, it is a victory for the region.
However, the fight continues. The EPA cannot and must not be allowed to threaten thousands of good-paying jobs in our region by holding up previously approved, as well as new, mining permits. With a new Republican-controlled majority in the House, the opportunity to reign in the EPA will hopefully gain momentum in the days, weeks and months ahead. ...
That’s what the voters in southern West Virginia and Southwest Virginia expect their elected leaders to be doing. Climate change legislation can wait. Let’s focus instead on getting the millions who are still unemployed back to work.