The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot this week delivered a scolding to Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for accepting more than $440,000 in contributions from power companies and coal mining interests -– while also fighting federal restrictions on pollution from out-of-state coal fired plants that would help the health of Virginians.
“If the EPA regulations were in place, Virginia would have been the beneficiary of pollution reductions to our west while being required to do little to reduce our own pollution,” the newspaper editorialized. “Despite that, Cuccinelli interceded in the case on the side of the states that pollute Virginia's air, and on behalf of the big utilities.”
The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to strike down the Obama Administration’s regulations for power plant air pollution that crosses state boundaries was a blow to efforts to meet new EPA pollution limits for the Chesapeake Bay. As much of as a third of the nitrogen pollution in the estuary comes from air pollution.
Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and the other Chesapeake region states have all issued plans to meet these federal pollution limits that are like blueprints for saving the Bay. With more nitrogen oxide air pollution pouring in from the Midwest, these state blueprints face a larger challenge.
“Virginia and other East Coast states are the biggest victims,” of the court decision to nix the federal air regulations, the Virginian Pilot wrote. “They have to live with the pollution ... generated by inland coal-fired power plants.”
To read the entire editorial, click here.
By Tom Pelton
Chesapeake Bay Foundation