After Major Spills, W. Virginia Governor Complains About Regulation


From the Charleston Gazette

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is warning the Obama administration again of “unreasonable” pollution rules, offering Monday to help the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency craft greenhouse gas emissions standards that would be more workable for the coal industry. [...]

“Environmental stewardship is fundamental to the everyday lives of West Virginians,” Tomblin said in the letter. “We enjoy hunting, fishing, and the beautiful views of our mountains and valleys.

“West Virginians also understand the importance of a hard day’s work, but up until this point, I believe that EPA has not sufficiently considered the real life adverse consequences of sweeping greenhouse gas regulations,” the governor’s letter said.

Has Governor Tomblin considered the real life adverse consequences of lax regulations? Have local residents considered it? Apparently they have according to a recent poll.

On a case by case basis it’s possible that some rules or regulations could be seen as unreasonable, but less than two months removed from a disaster whose effects continue to linger in homes and schools, I don’t think West Virginia Governor Tomblin should be complaining about unreasonable pollution rules.

The state’s response to the spill could justifiably be derided as a joke.

Since the Freedom Industries spill new information has come to light on a weekly basis showing the Tomblin administration either wasn’t upfront with information they had or that information was mishandled. And that’s putting it kindly.

Let’s not forget the Freedom Industries disaster, which involved a chemical used in the production of coal, and the more recent spill at Patriot Coal that saw more than 100,000 gallons of coal slury leak into the nearby river, can both be linked directly to the coal industry and greenhouse gas regulations have a direct impact on that industry.


On a related note, you should read Emily Crockett’s new article at Reality Check on the physical and psychological effects the spill and the state’s botched response has had on mothers in West Virginia.

  • captkurt

    What I find really disgusting about these situations, and I’m waiting for it to happen in W.Va., is when the Republicans and Industrialists identify themselves with the true, powerless victims of these sorts of accidents, and lash out at the Federal government and other ‘outsiders’ for assailing, and trying to change, their simple, beautiful way of life.

  • Christopher Foxx

    I believe that EPA has not sufficiently considered the real life adverse consequences of sweeping greenhouse gas regulations,

    I believe Tomblin is afraid that’s exactly what the EPA will do.

  • trgahan

    I assume Governor Tomblin can do this because poisoned school children aren’t the ones signing his campaign donation checks.

    Besides, the coal operators and/or subsidiary industries just have to threaten to reduce their work force due to “regulation, AHHHH!” and the WV citizens will fall back into line that it is all the Federal Government’s fault.

  • zirgar

    Liberty Widgets Inc.!

  • i_a_c

    Freedom Industries? Patriot Coal? Who named these companies? Fucking surreal, man.

    • Sabyen91

      Sparkly Bald Eagle Wrapped in an American Flag Oil Co.

      • Flotsam

        US Steel

      • CincyTed

        Great American Insurance Co.

    • captkurt

      It’s not exactly Newspeak, though close enough for me that it makes me crave a glass of Victory Gin.