Just in from West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, a report on his meeting with top Obama administration environmental officials about EPA’s crackdown on mountaintop removal permits:
WASHINGTON – Gov. Joe Manchin today released this statement after meeting with officials from the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency:
“Late this morning, I met with senior White House environmental officials to discuss mountaintop mining and the letters sent yesterday by the EPA about mining permits. We had a very productive meeting during which I shared our concerns about the potential impact of those letters. They explained that they are evaluating a number of permits, but want to look more closely at the two mining permits in question. I told them we are looking for a balance between the environment and the economy, and they assured me that they will work with us to find that balance.
“As a result of our discussions this morning, our state Department of Environmental Protection is bringing together the mining companies that have permits in question and EPA officials. We will expedite this meeting so we can work together to resolve the concerns on these issues and build a dialogue for the future.
“With a new administration comes new policies and they will have to evaluate past policies to determine where they can make improvements. We need to give them the opportunity to sit at the table with us and find common ground.”
[UPDATED — Jim Bruggers is reporting on his KentuckianaGreen.com blog that Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear is getting involved, seeking “clarification” of what the EPA did yesterday].