The Environmental Protection Agency wrapped up a “listening tour” for the agency's new carbon regulations, but skipped the states that may be hit the hardest and would likely voice the most opposition.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, right, with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, middle, and City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell tour the Los Angeles River in Los Angeles Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013. (AP/Damian Dovarganes)
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy defended the tour in a speech to the Center for American Progress Monday, The Hill reported.
“We have conducted what I think is probably the most vigorous outreach and robust, comprehensive outreach program that you can imagine,” McCarthy said.
The EPA listening tour consisted of town hall meetings in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Lenexa (part of the Kansas City metro area), New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.
Pennsylvania is the only coal-producing state that hosted the tour.
Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee have criticized the 11-city tour for skipping the top 10 coal-producing states: West Virginia, Kentucky, Wyoming, Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, Utah, Nebraska, New Mexico and Ohio.
McCarthy praised the tour for being “well in advance of even putting any pen to paper on a [regulatory] proposal, which is not due until next June.”
This would be the second set of carbon emission regulations from the Obama administration that some Republicans have said constitute a “war on coal.” EPA rules would further limit greenhouse gas emissions from new coal-fired power plants and gas plants.
“It is not the intent of the federal government to take over their duties, but if they don’t perform as the Clean Air Act requires them to, we will be forced to do that,” McCarthy said.
(H/T: The Hill)