An editorial from The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register
WHEELING, W.Va. — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey made the right decision for Mountain State residents this week, when he chose to run for re-election next year rather than for governor.
Morrisey had been viewed as a leading Republican contender for governor. But on Tuesday, he said he will not enter the race.
West Virginians – and many other Americans, whether they realize it or not – face an imminent peril. It is President Barack Obama’s campaign to shut down coal-fired power plants and drive electricity up.
Here in the Mountain State, that is a dual threat. First, our economy relies to a great extent on the coal industry. Closing down mines devastates communities and eventually, the entire state. Second, higher electricity prices will hurt families and make it more expensive to do business here.
Morrisey has been a leader in battling that threat, through court action against the Environmental Protection Agency. Dismissal of his lawsuit against the EPA by a federal appeals court earlier this month makes it urgent that he focus his attention on continuing the fight. Appeals court judges did not rule on the merits of Morrisey’s case, but rejected it solely because the EPA’s rules have not yet been finalized.
If another lawsuit, filed at a time acceptable to the courts, is to be pursued, it will require an enormous amount of attention from the attorney general.
Rather than using his energies in a campaign for governor, Morrisey has chosen to continue fighting the good fight against the EPA, on behalf of his fellow West Virginians.
It is a measure of how serious the EPA threat is, by the way, that another leading contender for governor, U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., also chose not to run. McKinley explained he believes he can defend the state best by remaining in the House of Representatives.
Morrisey is to be commended for putting personal ambitions aside to serve our state. Should he choose to run for higher office at some time in the future, voters will remember with gratitude what he did this year.