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W.Va. Democrats hope for new start with EPA chief

Aug. 01, 2013 @ 12:58 PM

CHARLESTON — West Virginia Democrats say a face-to-face meeting with the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency creates an opportunity to “hit the reset button” when it comes to coal.

House Speaker Tim Miley and other members of the delegation met Thursday in Washington with Administrator Gina McCarthy during her first week on the job.

Miley says blunt but respectful conversations explained how EPA actions are harming coal country.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin says the group invited McCarthy to visit West Virginia and see the effects firsthand. She didn’t immediately confirm, but he believes the visit will happen.

Manchin says Democrats explained to her that coal is an affordable, reliable energy source the U.S. will need for decades to come, and trying to regulate it out of existence makes no sense.