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.
“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.”