West Virginia Secretary of State and U.S. Senate candidate Natalie Tennant is opposing President Obama's regulations on coal-fired power plants outlined by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy today.
Tennant rejects the President's approach of reducing carbon emissions through regulations that put West Virginia jobs at risk. Instead, Tennant advocates for incentives to help bring affordable advanced coal technology to market.
Tennant will unveil a broad Coal and Energy Jobs Agenda this week as part of a statewide Energy Tour that begins at a coal miner training facility in Raleigh County on Tuesday.
"I will stand up to President Obama, Gina McCarthy, and anyone else who tries to undermine our coal jobs. Washington bureaucrats need to understand, these are not numbers on a balance sheet, they are real people with families to feed," Tennant said. "I refuse to accept that we have to choose between clean air and good-paying jobs when I know West Virginia can lead the way in producing technology that does both."
Tennant has also criticized the EPA for not gathering direct input from West Virginia -- which was left out of the EPA's "listening tour.' Today, the EPA has announced plans for public hearing in Denver, DC, Atlanta and Pittsburgh, and once again Tennant said it's unacceptable that West Virginia was left out.
Tennant says the regulatory approach is the wrong way to go because it requires technology that either does not exist, or is too expensive to implement without causing significant job loss. Instead of imposing regulations, Tennant says Washington should work with West Virginia to bring advanced technologies to market that will reduce carbon emissions, while also protecting jobs and keeping coal strong, competitive and affordable.
Tennant points to work being done at the National Research Center for Coal and Energy (NRCCE) at West Virginia University and National Energy Technology Lab (NETL) in Morgantown, as evidence that West Virginia can lead the way in developing advanced coal technologies for the entire country. Tennant brought U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp to tour NRCCE in April (read more).
Tennant also points out that China is already investing in advanced coal technologies and that by targeting coal, the President's plan would put America at a competitive disadvantage.
Tennant has clearly shown she will stand up to President Obama, the EPA, and Senate leadership to put West Virginia and coal jobs first:
Tennant supports House-passed legislation to block EPA regulations on coal-fired power plants, and the Senate bill sponsored by U.S. Senator Joe Manchin.
Tennant called on the U.S. Senate to allow a vote on an even stronger amendment to stop the regulations during debate on the Senate Floor earlier this year.
Tennant has been outspokenly critical of EPA Administrator McCarthy for not including West Virginia on the EPA's "listening tour' before announcing the regulations.