EPA Head Talks Climate Change With Western Governors

June 10, 2014

Governors of western states heard Tuesday from the head of the federal Environmental Protection Agency, who promoted new proposed rules to clean power plants.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told the governors the plan is a way to deal with destructive wildfires and floods that have affected the region in recent years, and emphasized states will have flexibility in developing plans to reduce carbon output. But she acknowledged governors whose states depend heavily on coal expressed concern about the new rules.

McCarthy spent about two hours with ten governors in Colorado Springs, which is hosting the annual Western Governors' Association conference. The EPA rules announced last week set a goal of cutting emissions of the greenhouse gas by 30 percent nationwide from 2005 levels. The goal's deadline is 2030.

Some governors have blamed increasingly destructive fires on climate change, but others worry about the new plan, calling it a job-killing war on coal.