ROANOKE, W.Va. — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin intends to submit a plan for West Virginia to cut greenhouse gas emissions in compliance with the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, bucking calls from state and national Republicans to ignore the environmental regulations.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan requires each state to cut carbon emissions from power plants by a certain amount, but leaves it to states to decide how to reach those goals. If states do not submit plans, they are threatened with the federal government implementing a plan for them, likely some sort of carbon cap-and-trade system.
Republicans, most prominently Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have called on governors across the country to refuse to submit state plans.
Tomblin said West Virginia would not follow that advice.
“If we do not [submit a plan], like some have suggested and some are doing around the country, obviously [the] EPA will say, ‘OK, if you don’t have a plan, you’re going to buy our plan,’ ” Tomblin said in an interview following his speech at the state Energy Summit at Stonewall Resort. “I’d prefer to have a plan in place when the time comes…