West Virginia at Climate Change Crossroads as EPA Power Plant Rules Loom

Charleston Gazette - Last June, on a warm day on the campus of Georgetown University, President Obama took off his suit jacket and launched into his most significant speech to date about the dangers human society faces from the buildup of greenhouse gases in the planet's atmosphere. Wiping sweat from his forehead, Obama promised serious new action "for the sake of our children, and the health and safety of all Americans." Read

On Monday, the federal Environmental Protection Agency will make good on part of that promise. The EPA is scheduled to announce a proposal for the first-ever limits on carbon dioxide emissions from electrical power plants, the source of nearly 40 percent of U.S. global warming pollution.

In West Virginia, longtime political leaders and coal industry defenders didn't wait to read the EPA proposal before they harshly attacked it. Last Thursday, Rep. Nick J. Rahall, D-W.Va., took to the House floor to blast a plan he hadn't even seen.

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