Associated Press Published

Senate Passes Bill so Lawmakers Can Ok State Carbon Plan


West Virginia lawmakers have passed a bill letting the Legislature approve state plans to meet proposed federal carbon emission standards.

Senators passed a proposal 24-10 Wednesday requiring the GOP-led Legislature’s vote before the state sends compliance plans to the Environmental Protection Agency. It requires a state feasibility report 180 days after EPA’s rule is finalized.

The House passed a similar bill Feb. 6.

Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said legislative approval would restrict environmental regulators. Coal industry groups said lawmakers should be included.

EPA’s anti-global warming proposal aims to drop emissions from existing coal-fired plants by 30 percent nationally by 2030, compared to 2005.

West Virginia’s reduction would be 19.8 percent by 2030, compared to 2012.

State plans are due June 2016, or 2017 with extensions.