CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Leaders of the state Democratic Party will be traveling to Washington, D.C. next week to talk directly with representatives of the federal Environmental Protection Agency about coal.

MetroNews file photo

Leading state Democrats will take a road trip.

“We’re meeting about the jobs in West Virginia, the coal miners, the construction workers that some of these regulations are affecting,” said state Democratic Party Chairman Larry Puccio.

He announced the August 1 trip on Wednesday at the State Capitol.

Those who were also part of the announcement included Senate President Jeff Kessler, House Speaker Tim Miley and representatives with the West Virginia Coal Association, United Mine Workers of America and West Virginia Chamber of Commerce.

Puccio, who was a guest on Wednesday’s MetroNews “Talkline,” said they’ll be presenting a united front.

“This is not about politics,” he said.  “This is about people and, I think, anyone that you talk to truly wants to hear when it’s about people and that’s what we’re going to be in Washington to talk about.”

State Republican Party Chairman Conrad Lucas, though, called the Democratic effort a “charade.”

“The party of Obama and his endorsers who stood at the Governor’s office today have done everything possible to destroy the coal industry, raise energy prices, allow the government to take over health care and weaken our nation,” Lucas said in a statement.

“We’re excited that West Virginia Democrats will be taking a bus out of state,” he continued.  “Citizens can only hope it is a one way trip.”

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  • Keith

    The democratic party as a whole does not want an industry/manufacturing base in the US. and have worked feverishly since FDR to destroy any means of a self sufficent population. The populace must be dependant on the government in order for the government to maintain power.Hundreds of years ago slavery was forced upon a people;now they stand in line to sign up for it.

  • NewsFlash

    Democrats hate coal.

  • Brian

    What's there to talk about? This isn't a first term President. He's in his second term and it's clear where him and his party (Dem) stand on coal! What is the point of wasting tax payer dollars for a useless trip?? Maybe Joe can carve out some time from fund raising with Mike Bloomberg to join the meetings. Yes that Anti Gun Bloomberg NYC Mayor by the way. So much for WV Dems I guess. Better start doing your research before voting straight tickets!!

  • Tim C

    I disagree with Mr. Lucas calling this a charade. They are going there to get their marching orders from the administration and it ain't gonna be good for West Virginians. But, you democrats will go on eating this kind of crap up until you are standing in soup lines. You are that DUMB!

  • Whydoireadthisgarbage

    Conrad Lucas, a leader? Sounds more like a spoiled child to me.

    What say you?

  • liberty4all

    Don't know why you would expect anything less from Mr. Lucas. I disagree with many of the principles of the democratic and republican parties. (Hint - everyone should look closer at the libertarian platform).

    However, I have to chuckle when folks like Mr. Lucas try and drape the Obama/Pelosi blanket over our state representatives. I would invite him to be more specific as to what Mr. Kessler or Mr. Miley has specifically done to destroy the coal industry, raise energy prices, allow government takeover of healthcare and weaken this nation. For crying out loud, they are state legislators. Me thinks Mr. Lucas attributes way too much power to these folks.

  • Tina B

    One last thing Mr. Lucas, you might want to remember that West Virginia Democrats out register West Virginia Republicans by a 2-1 margin. I don't think it will fair well for them to hear you want them all to leave the state.

    This type of political banter and negativity is just completely disheartening.

  • Tina B

    Boy the Lucas fellow fellow sounds like he wants bi-partisanship. Yes, that was a sarcastic sentence.

    Please Lord, help us get beyond the partisan politics and get back to just caring about West Virginia.

    • Wowbagger


      When since 1932 has the West Virginia Democratic Party been bi-partisan? Answer NEVER!

      Bi-partisan just means you are afraid you are losing and you want the other side to give in anyway.

  • RogerD

    No Democrat trip to DC would be complete without some quality time aboard the "Black Tie". Maybe they forgot to mention that part of the itinerary.

  • Jeremy Bauserman

    Conrad Lucas sounds more and more like a candidate for the House of Representatives in District 3.