Local residents considered the impact the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA), new rule on carbon will have on West Virginia during a panel discussion held in Shepherdstown last week.
Hosted by the local chapter of the West Virginia Sierra Club, the event was designed to offer residents insight into some of the health, economic and social benefits the new rule could offer.
"Energy efficiency and renewable energy offers great economic benefits to West Virginia communities, as well as improving health by cutting pollution," said Sierra Club West Virginia Energy Efficiency organizer, Danny Chiotos.
The "carbon rule" and Obama administration initiative, would place more limits on carbon emission by power plants. Carbon pollution from power plants is said to be to be a top contributor to green house gases.
Though limitations have already been placed on arsenic, lead, mercury and other harmful pollutants, no cap on carbon has yet been established.
Shepherdstown resident and national Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign Director, Mary Anne Hitt called the new carbon rule "the best shot," Americans have at tackling the issue of climate change.
"It's also significant in West Virginia." she said Thursday night.
re are pushing to have the state actually constructively engage and use this as a way to get clean energy online in West Virginia," she said.
Hitt said meeting West Virginia s carbon goal of reducing emissions by 20 percent by the year 2030, would enable the creation of 19,000 clean energy jobs for the state.
David Levine founder of Geostellar Solar, notable writer Sean O'Leary and director of the NAACP's Climate Justice imitative Jaqui Patterson, also discussed the states environmental history and present status.
O'Leary called on residents to do their research regarding arguments against strong environmental action, using the state's history with the coal industry as an example.
"What have we gotten from making concessions to the industry? The answer is nothing." he said.
The event served as a precursor to the EPAs official public hearing on the carbon rule being held Tuesday, July 29 from 9 a.m to 8 p.m. in Washington, D.C.
The West Virginia Sierra Club is providing transportation for interested Eastern Panhandle residents to the public forum from locations in Martinsburg and Charles Town.
Cost for the bus ride is $10 dollars and those interested are encouraged to register ahead of time.
For more information, contact Danny Chiotos at 304-535-8150 or Daniel.Chiotos@gmail.com.