WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, during a hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, Janet McCabe, told Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) West Virginia was excluded from public hearings on the EPA’s proposed climate rules because locations were chosen based on “where people were comfortable coming.” Sen. Capito issued the following statement in response:
“I’m appalled by the EPA’s refusal to hold a public hearing in West Virginia – the second largest coal producing state in America – because it wasn't deemed 'comfortable' enough. Regardless of whether or not EPA officials feel ‘comfortable’ facing the thousands of West Virginia coal miners whose livelihoods are threatened by these proposed rules, West Virginians deserve the opportunity to make their voices heard. Once again, I invite EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Assistant Administrator McCabe to visit West Virginia and see first-hand how these regulations will impact our economy, our communities, and even our neighboring states who depend on West Virginia coal to keep the lights on.”
Video of the exchange can be found here.
Sen. Capito: What about the visit to West Virginia? Why didn’t you visit coal producing states?
Administrator McCabe: "We did have a lot of meetings around the country. We met in many states. We tried to, when we were scheduling national level meetings, we wanted to have those in locations where people were comfortable coming. We used a lot of EPA offices because that’s...”
Sen. Capito: "That’s not really a great answer there. I’m not trying to be antagonistic, but I don’t think it’s a great answer. You can get to West Virginia. We’re not that isolated. It’s a beautiful spot. This heavily impacts, heavily impacts the economics of our state. Our ability to compete.”
An extended video of Sen. Capito’s remarks during the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee can be viewed here.