CHARLESTON -- A federal appeals court ruling upholding the EPA's regulations limiting the emissions of greenhouse gas air pollutants has spurred a debate between West Virginia's gubernatorial candidates.
In a ruling Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed the federal Environmental Protection Agency's standards.
Vermont, New York and more than a dozen other states, along with the City of New York and a number of environmental groups, helped to defend the agency's standards. West Virginia did not take part in the suit.
In its 82-page ruling, the D.C. Circuit affirmed the EPA's finding in 2009 that large-scale greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health and welfare; the EPA's standards requiring greenhouse gas emission controls on model year 2012-16 cars. Those standards are expected to result in the reduction of 960 million metric tons of carbon dioxide over the life of those vehicles; and the EPA's so-called "Tailoring Rule," a phase-in of the requirement that new and modified power plants, petroleum refineries and other industrial sources use the "best available control technology" to control their emissions of greenhouse gas pollutants.
Republican gubernatorial challenger Bill Maloney's campaign issued a release titled "Obama's EPA wins court case that kills jobs; Tomblin again sides with Obama, against West Virginia."
In it, he criticizes Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin for siding with Obama.
"This ruling will have a crippling effect on businesses right here in West Virginia," Maloney said in the statement. "States like Texas and Virginia joined lawsuits to try to stop this action by Obama's EPA and save jobs in their states. Earl Ray Tomblin did not sue Obama and did not try to protect jobs in West Virginia. So, yet again, Earl Ray is proving that he is with Obama and against West Virginia.
"Earlier this year, Earl Ray led a letter-writing campaign to 'Washington bureaucrats' politely asking that they end the War on Coal. Clearly, letter writing campaigns are more effective as political stunts than they are at stopping the overreach of the Obama administration. If Earl Ray really cared about fighting for West Virginians, he would go after Obama in court and campaign against Obama's re-election."
A spokesman for Tomblin's re-election campaign dismissed Maloney's comments.
"Bill Maloney will say anything to distract from the fact that he let jobs from his company move to Pennsylvania and he has no specific ideas for West Virginia, so it's not surprising to see him continue with outrageous attacks in an attempt to get attention," Stadelman said Thursday. "The reality is that Earl Ray Tomblin helped Arch Coal get a judge to overturn an EPA ruling, and he is suing to get the MACT Rule reversed.
"Governor Tomblin takes real action to support our coal industry and stand up to the federal government, he doesn't just issue press releases."
Maloney also said Tomblin could have sided with "West Virginia job creators."
"Instead, Earl Ray sided with Obama so that he could continue to benefit from hundreds of thousands of dollars in political cash being spent on his behalf by Obama-backed groups," Maloney said. "That's not leadership. I'm not afraid to stand up and fight Barack Obama when it comes to saving jobs for West Virginia's families."
To read the complete ruling, click here.