By Travis Fain firstname.lastname@example.org
1:19 PM EDT, June 2, 2014
When it comes to the EPA's newly announced carbon rules, U.S. sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine are glad to have more time for study before the regulations are finalized.
They're walking a fine line as representatives of a state that produces coal, but might also sink a little into the ocean.
Both Virginia senators said they were glad the Environmental Protection Agency agreed to a 120-day comment period on the draft rules instead of 60 days, but neither offered much of an opinion Monday on the proposed rule's potential efficacy.
Kaine, D-VA, sent out a statement, pasted below. Warner, D-VA, hasn't sent a statement yet, but reporters asked him for comment at the end of an event and press conference he held on rail safety.
You can see the video above, but I've transcribed his comment here:
"They just came out. I haven't had a chance to review them yet. I think that the one thing I am glad to see is that, there were a group of us, senators from coal producing states, that said, these are going to be complicated, let's make sure there's not a 60 day comment period, there's a 120 day comment period. so at least we're going to get a longer comment period. I think that's good. This is a process that takes, literally a year. I'm going to be looking to look at the rules, and then specifically look at the comments."
And here's Kaine's statement:
“Today the EPA proposed standards for carbon emissions for existing power plants. Reducing this carbon pollution is in our national interest, but we have an obligation to do it in a way that makes economic sense.
“I recently wrote to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to request that the usual 60-day comment period be doubled to 120 days to allow maximum opportunity for citizens and stakeholders to analyze the rule and share concerns and ideas. I am gratified that EPA has agreed to this request, and I look forward to dialogue with Virginia families and businesses about the proposal.
“Recent alarming climate trends, including the rise in sea levels in Hampton Roads, demonstrate that we must reduce carbon pollution in energy production. That's why I support research investments in cleaner coal technologies, a groundbreaking plan to develop wind energy off the Virginia coast, safer development of natural gas resources and major steps to expand energy conservation and efficiency. These will be some of the innovative options that could count as emissions reductions under the EPA plan.
“I've seen how smart environmental rules helped us clean up the James River in my hometown in ways that improved our economy and quality of life. We don't have to choose between a clean environment and economic growth. We just have to make sure that we adopt balanced rules that advance environmental goals by spurring economic innovation.”
Update, 3 p.m.: Warner just put out an official statement along the lines of his earlier comment. Pasted below.
“Virginia is at the center of the national debate on climate change, with our coalfields in southwest Virginia and the Commonwealth’s coastal cities beginning to see the impact of sea rise. These draft regulations on existing source carbon power plant emissions are complicated, consequential and far-reaching, and I am pleased the Administration wisely decided to accept our recommendation to double the comment period from 60 to 120 days.
“This is a first step in a very long process, and it is important that Virginians have a full and fair opportunity to express their views on the proposed rule. I will review the EPA proposal and consult with a broad variety of Virginia stakeholders on these issues. I will work to ensure that any final rule provides Virginia with adequate flexibility, enhances innovation and R&D in clean coal, and ensures that we maintain a safe and reliable energy network to power a competitive economy.”
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