The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest News

May 25, 2013

W.Va. joins greenhouse gas rules fight

CHARLESTON — Once again, political leaders in West Virginia are taking on the Environmental Protection Agency in what they perceive as a crucial court test with coal production hanging in the balance.

Specifically, the state joined two other states — Kansas and Montana — in a “friend of the court” brief, asking the nation’s highest court to hear a challenge of the EPA in regulating greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources.

The brief was filed by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

“This is a significant issue for West Virginia, as well as other states, because the EPA’s decision to regulate greenhouse gas emissions could have a devastating impact on industry, the economy, and citizens,” Beth Ryan, communications director for Morrisey, said.

The three states maintain the EPA’s so-called “tailoring rule” contracts specific provisions of the Clean Air Act and sets new compliance levels that are much greater than the levels outlined in law.

“The EPA’s proposed limits on greenhouse gas emissions threaten the livelihood of our coal miners to the point of killing jobs and crippling our state and national economies, while also weakening our country’s efforts toward energy independence,” Tomblin said.

“I hope the high court recognizes the urgency and critical importance of our brief for all Americans.”

Tomblin had coined the oft-used phrase “war on coal” in his first State of the State address, vowing it was one in which West Virginia ultimately would prevail over the federal agency.

While one federal court agreed the EPA had overstepped its authority in a suit Tomblin brought involving the Clean Water Act, an appeals court held that the agency was within its legal scope to retroactively cancel a mining permit issued years earlier for the Spruce mine, a 2,300-acre mountaintop installation in Logan County.

That triggered a predictable avalanche of rebuke not only from industry but members of Congress.

Morrisey and Tomblin said a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals in favor of the EPA in four consolidated case involving gas emissions, if not reversed, would “fundamentally alter” the Constitution’s separation of powers and extend unbridled authority to not only the EPA but other federal agencies.

“The EPA’s decision to regulate greenhouse gas emissions in this way will have a devastating impact on the industries that must comply with these rules, as well as consumers,” Morrisey said.

“Once again, the EPA is moving ahead on an issue with little regard for the plain language of the statute and the people who are directly impacted by these incredible new burdens.”

— E-mail:


Text Only
Latest News
  • UPDATE: East River Mountain Tunnel repairs complete

    The Virginia Department of Transportation was able to complete its repairs of the East River Mountain Tunnel overnight. There will be no need for the closure this evening. 

    July 30, 2014

  • Americans continue to be plagued by debt

    Credit card debt may have reached its lowest level in a decade, but according to a recent study on personal debt vs. income, just as more people are paying off their credit card debt monthly, nearly the same number of people are being reported for unpaid bills. 

    July 30, 2014

  • twvcheck Theatre West Virginia gives back to hospice

    Theatre West Virginia, even with its shortened season this year, has found a way to give back to the community. 

    Mike Cavendish, a past board president at TWV, presented Hospice of Southern West Virginia with a check Thursday for over $1,000. 

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Former Summers County commissioner indicted

    The Summers County grand jury handed up indictments against 17 individuals this month, including one against a former county commissioner. 

    July 30, 2014

  • Weaker prices widen second quarter losses for Arch Coal

     Arch Coal Inc. said Tuesday that its second-quarter loss widened partly because of nagging rail disruptions and weaker prices for coal used in making steel, though cost controls helped the coal producer’s latest earnings surpass analysts’ expectations.

    July 30, 2014

  • pasiley Watery delight

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • State DHHR workers to picket over large caseloads

    West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources employees are picketing outside the agency's Fayette County office to raise awareness over what they call large, unmanageable caseloads.

    July 29, 2014

  • Arch Coal posts bigger 2Q loss

    Arch Coal Inc. said Tuesday that its second-quarter loss widened partly because of nagging rail disruptions and weaker prices for coal used in making steel, though cost controls helped the coal producer's latest earnings surpass analysts' expectations.


    July 29, 2014

  • Meth lab bust nets two Raleigh residents

    An anonymous phone call about two children in danger led authorities to a meth lab bust and the arrests of two Raleigh County residents Monday night.

    July 29, 2014

  • Congress closes in on benefits for veterans

    On the cusp of Congress’s lengthy summer break, factions sparring over legislation to strengthen health care and funding reforms for the Department of Veterans Affairs may have reached a compromise.

    July 29, 2014