State of West Virginia secondary Archives: on Environment

Woody Thrasher: Eliminate unnecessary regulations, balance with conservation

Q: Do you support recent weakening of EPA regulations concerning air and water quality?

Thrasher: We should always eliminate unnecessary regulations and make West Virginia an attractive place to do business. But that must be balanced with conservation efforts to keep West Virginia an attractive place to make a living,

Source: Williamson Daily News on 2020 West Virginia governor race Mar 24, 2020

Jim Justice: Invest $14M in tourism and revenue comes flying right back

Tourism is another wonderfully bright spot in West Virginia. In 2017, we had unbelievable growth. We greatly surpassed the natural growth. In 2018, it looks even stronger and stronger. Our hotel occupancy is up 11 percent. You know, our increased prices in revenue in our hotels is up 13.4%, and I will be asking you for another $14,000,000, because every dollar we put in tourism comes flooding back to us. It's a multiplier effect.

It's just absolutely a cash register. We put the money in, it comes flying right back at us. We seeing this every month in our surpluses. This is the state that ought to be the number one state in the nation as far as tourism.

Source: 2019 State of the State address to West Virginia legislature Jan 9, 2019

Jim Justice: $60M upgrade to state parks

We sold $60,000,000 of excess lottery bonds to upgrade our state parks. We have absolutely been doing that. That's all underway right now. We're getting a tremendous response with our state parks, and there's just lots of good going on there.

As far as our DNR efforts we've made, you know, we have reestablished an Elk herd in West Virginia; we're extending deer seasons. We're doing so many things with our trout and our streams, and we're exposing this state in so many ways, it's unbelievable.

Source: 2019 State of the State address to West Virginia legislature Jan 9, 2019

Don Blankenship: AdWatch: Year in prison for contaminating drinking water

The "Mountain Families PAC" targets Republican Senate hopeful Don Blankenship. The Republican establishment has launched an emergency intervention in the primary aimed at stopping coal baron Don Blankenship from winning the party's nomination.

Last week, the newly-formed super PAC began airing TV ads targeting Blankenship, who spent one year behind bars following a deadly 2010 explosion at his Upper Big Branch Mine. The national party isn't promoting its role in the group but its fingerprints are all over it.

The 30-second commercials, which the group is spending nearly $700,000 to air, accuse Blankenship's company of contaminating drinking water by pumping "toxic coal slurry," even as the multimillionaire installed a piping system that pumped clean water to his mansion. "Isn't there enough toxic sludge in Washington?" the narrator intones.

Blankenship last month issued a statement saying he was well aware of the possibility that party leadership could target him.

Source: AdWatch on 2018 West Virginia Senate race Apr 15, 2018

Paula Jean Swearengin: West Virginia rivers and streams are constantly threatened

Q: What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?

A: West Virginia rivers and streams are constantly threatened by drainage, dumping, spills, and run-off from all of the industries who get tax and regulation breaks in the name of jobs. Explosions, leaks, and five-day chemical fires have filled our air with toxins. Even worse, most of the companies guilty of these abuses are often headquartered out-of-state and are reporting record profits! CEOs are raking in millions in salaries and bonuses at the expense of our health. Clean air and water should always be part of the cost of doing business.

Source: Ballotpedia statement for 2020 West Virginia Senate race Apr 10, 2018

Patrick Morrisey: EPA exceeds its authority on Clean Water & Cross-State Air

Source: Wikipedia on 2018 West Virginia Senate race Feb 18, 2018

Don Blankenship: EPA is biggest polluter,moving jobs to unregulated countries

Don Blankenship said the Environmental Protection Agency has become "the biggest polluter in the world" by forcing U.S. jobs to carbon-spewing countries like China. "When you look at Trump's margin [of victory] and look at the fact that I advocated his policies before he advocated his policies--I've long believed that trade policies are unfair and that regulations are stifling," the former coal titan said last week in an interview.
Source: Washington Times on 2018 West Virginia Senatorial race Jan 1, 2018

Don Blankenship: AdWatch: role of MSHA in mine disaster was covered up

Blankenship produced an ad that said the Obama administration's internal review of the Mine Safety and Health Administration's role in a deadly mine explosion was "fixed." The ad said the government's own documents revealed "Obama's deadliest cover-up." Blankenship's spokesman claimed to have emails that proved the point, but said they would not share them.

An extensive review of multiple government reports, plus a search through a database of thousands of news articles produced no supporting facts.

Source: Politifact AdWatch on 2016-18 West Virginia Senate race Dec 11, 2017

Patrick Morrisey: Led coalition against "Clean Power Plan"

Since becoming Attorney General, Morrisey has assembled a long list of conservative accomplishments. He quickly developed a reputation as a "go-to" leader against President Obama's unlawful and radical agenda. He led a 27-state coalition in securing an unprecedented win against Obama's EPA and his so-called "Clean Power Plan" at the U.S. Supreme Court, saving many coal miners' jobs.
Source: 2018 West Virginia Senatorial website Oct 1, 2017

Jim Justice: I love the outdoors, but regulatory agencies tell you no

So many times our regulatory agencies absolutely, no matter what on earth we try to do, they're there to tell you no. They're not there to tell us no.

Now, I underline--underline, underline, underline--nobody loves the outdoors as much as me. Nobody loves water as much as me. We're not going to break the law. We're got going to do anything to damage the environment to the very best of our abilities. Or our waters. But we are not going to just say no.

Source: 2017 West Virginia State of the State address Feb 8, 2017

Jim Justice: Paid $900,000 fine for poor pollution controls at mines

A coal company owned by West Virginia billionaire Jim Justice has agreed to pay a $900,000 fine for environmental violations and improve pollution controls at mines in Kentucky and other Appalachian states at an estimated cost of $5 million. The U.S Environmental Protection Agency announced the settlement Friday with Southern Coal Corporation and 26 affiliated mining companies. Kentucky and many other states enforce federal clean water and mining rules, with federal oversight.

The Justice companies with pollution-discharge permits in Kentucky listed in the complaint are A&G Coal; Four Star Resources; Infinity Energy; Kentucky Fuel Corporation; Sequoia Energy; and Virginia Fuel. The settlement is separate from one Justice reached with Kentucky in 2014 to clean up environmental problems. In that case, Justice admitted hundreds of violations at his company's mines in 8 counties. Justice owed $4.49 million in fines for the violations, but the state settled for $1.5 million.

Source: Lexington Herald-Leader on 2016 West Virginia Governor race Sep 30, 2016

Jim Justice: EPA regulations have been difficult, overreaching, and wrong

The climate regulations imposed on the state have been difficult, overreaching and wrong, Justice said. More can be done with clean coal technologies to make them more economically viable and keep coal as a vital fuel source, he said.
Source: Parkersburg News-Sentinel: 2016 West Virginia governor race Oct 9, 2015

Michael Folk: No new regulations on mountaintop mining

Q: Do you support increased regulations on mountaintop removal mining and disposal?

A: No.

Q: Do you support state funding for open space preservation?

A: No.

Q: Do you support enacting environmental regulations aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?

A: No. Simply enforce current regulations!

Source: West Virginia State 2012 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2012

Pat McGeehan: No state funding for open space preservation

Q: Do you support increased regulations on mountaintop removal mining and disposal?

A: No.

Q: Do you support state funding for improvements to West Virginia's energy infrastructure?

A: No.

Q: Do you support state funding for open space preservation?

A: No.

Q: Do you support enacting environmental regulations aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?

A: No.

Source: West Virginia Election 2012 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2012

John Raese: Abolish the EPA & the Department of Energy

Raese aggressively criticized the Obama administration on coal regulations, and environmental policy. He also wants to cut some federal programs that currently regulate the environment. "The Obama administration has been regulating coal out of existence. Try to get a permit today, if you can," Raese said. "He doesn't want to burn fossil fuels, he's making coal priced so high that it's not competitive anymore," he said, "I'd like to abolish the Department of Energy, and I would also like to abolish the EPA. I think they are both redundant."

Manchin says all energy resources in the country should be developed, to stop dependence on foreign oil. He says regulatory practices from the Environmental Protection Agency are unfairly hurting Appalachian coal mining. But he says a balance must be drawn to protect both industry and environmental interests. "There's a balance to be had, the economy and the environment has to work together," Manchin said.

Source: West Virginia Public Broadcasting on 2012 W.V. Senate debate Oct 3, 2012

Natalie Tennant: Raise motor vehicle fees, but gradually, not $40M at once

Q: Would you have vetoed the bill raising motor vehicle fees to generate an additional $40 million for the highway fund?

A: What leadership is about, is getting into bringing folks together. I would have done that certainly with the Division of Motor Vehicles. This is a tough time for folks in West Virginia, and raising taxes, whether they're called taxes or fees, and in this case they were called fees, is difficult for folks. And I realize they hadn't been addressed in many years. It could have been a gradual approach to be able to work that in. I would have worked to make sure that would have been addressed and address it also for the roads in a budget process.

Q: So you would have supported some increase in the fees?

A: Depending on what the level would have been. But it couldn't have been that high, as it was. It was such a stark increase from what it was.

Source: The Register-Herald: West Virginia gubernatorial profiles Apr 25, 2011

Bob Wise: Create cabinet Environment post; end tradeoff with economy

It was the prevailing wisdom in the last century, and in previous generations, that economic growth carried the price of environmental sacrifice. We in West Virginia often divided ourselves into two camps - energy on one side, environment on the other. In so doing, we lost sight of a basic truth: we will share the future of West Virginia together. It is my goal to put behind us the era of divisiveness on the issue of West Virginiaís environment. All of us who love West Virginia - whether we work at behind a desk or a dozer, at a coal mine or a corporate headquarters - love our hills, our rivers, our woods and our valleys. We can have a clean environment-and we can have good paying jobs. And there must be no higher economic development priority- therefore-I ask you to elevate the Director of the Division of Environmental Protection to the post of secretary, and add this official to the Governorís Cabinet to emphasize the importance of environmental protection.
Source: 2001 State of the State Address to West Virginia Legislature Feb 14, 2001

  • The above quotations are from State of West Virginia Politicians: secondary Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Environment.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2020 Presidential contenders on Environment:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
Please consider a donation to!
Click for details -- or send donations to:
1770 Mass Ave. #630, Cambridge MA 02140
(We rely on your support!)

Page last updated: Oct 12, 2021