For a majority of this gubernatorial election, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and their guidelines on carbon emissions have been a major key issue. Republican nominee Ken Cuccinelli has been strongly opposed to these guidelines and has openly accused his opponent, Terry McAuliffe (D), of joining Obama’s “war on coal.”
Simply put, the EPA wants to put limitations on the amount of carbon emissions that coal and gas-fired plants can emit into the air. As a result, the regulations may limit the number of power plants to be built in Virginia. This result is Cuccinelli’s main criticism of the EPA and the coal regulations.
Throughout the whole campaign, McAuliffe has tried to distance himself from this issue as best he could. On Tuesday, McAuliffe announced his support of the EPA and regulations for coal and gas-fired plants. In an article published by The Washington Post, when asked if he supports the regulations, McAuliffe answered, “As they are written right now. I do, you bet. What I’ve looked at, I support what we need to do to obviously protect our air and our water.”
Terry McAuliffe sees the regulations as the best way to get to a clean and healthy environment. Ken Cuccinelli says that these guidelines will limit jobs in Virginia. “As I have said repeatedly in recent months, the war on coal is a war on Virginia’s poor and a war on competitiveness for Virginia.” Now that both candidates have voiced opinions on this highly debated matter, it is going to play an even bigger role in getting votes.