"We told her first-hand what the effects her decisions were having on West Virginia. We have to invite Gina McCarthy to come to the state," Manchin said.
U.S. Rep. Nick J. Rahall said he appreciated that McCarthy was listening "to the grave concerns we voiced today about the detrimental effects that EPA's regulatory actions are having on coal jobs and our economy in West Virginia."
Rahall said McCarthy's "comments that coal is a vital part of our energy future are a source of some encouragement.... Our delegation made abundantly clear that there must be greater equity between environmental goals and economic needs."
Secretary of State Natalie Tennant said, "The stakeholders [in this debate] are not just the coal operators and the utilities but also the people of West Virginia. I think McCarthy was very receptive."
Nick Casey, a Democrat running for Congress in next year's election, said, "President Obama ran on a platform of hope. What was the hope he gave to West Virginia?
"It causes fear when a mine closes and jobs are lost. Schools could close. The people of West Virginia have felt abandoned by this president," Casey said.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin told McCarthy "hundreds of West Virginians are now out of work due to EPA's overzealous, ideological, and financially devastating policies that have led to the closure of coal mines and coal-fired power plants in our state.
"McCarthy responded by promising to provide an open dialogue and consider the effects of policies on working men and women in West Virginia," according to a statement Tomblin released.
Miley believes things will get better.
"Gov. Tomblin sent three letters to Lisa Jackson [McCarthy's predecessor as EPA administrator]. He never received a response. She did not even acknowledge the letters were ever received.
"With the new director, we could get a meeting with her within a week of her getting the job," Miley said during the telephone press conference.
Hamilton said, "I am also very hopeful. McCarthy was taking very careful notes during our meeting. She clearly acknowledged our concerns."
Stockman asked, "Can you imagine what it would be like if we didn't have the EPA trying to keep a check on this industry?
"We are heading to a post-coal economy, and leaders that truly care about West Virginia will embrace that instead of denying it," she said.
Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjny...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.