WDBJ7 Senior Reporter
1:54 PM EDT, July 16, 2012
New environmental regulations and their impact on Virginia's coal industry are fueling more debate in southwest Virginia.
Ninth District Congressman Morgan Griffith and two other Republicans on a House Energy and Power subcommittee are holding a field hearing Monday in Abingdon.
At issue, proposed regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency, and their impact on coal industry jobs.
We heard from Griffith on Monday morning in an interview provided by Faces of Coal, a coal mining advocacy group.
"The vast majority believe there is a war on coal by this administration's EPA and we're just getting more information on how it affects not just coal miners, but businesses that have to deal with the higher energy prices, the higher electric rates," Griffith said.
Anthony Flaccavento is Griffith's Democratic opponent in the November election. He said: "Mr. Girffith has a clear approach to the coal industry and others which is that he basically wants to eliminate any and all regulations or scale them back wherever he can."
Flaccavento says he supports a balanced approach to regulations that would protect health and safety, while doing everything possible to maintain jobs.
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