As Listener and Saleswoman, EPA Chief Takes to Road for Climate Rules

"BEULAH, N.D. — Gina McCarthy was deep in enemy territory. Here on this wind-whipped prairie pocked with strip mines, Ms. McCarthy, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, faced 20 coal miners, union workers and local politicians deeply suspicious of the new climate change regulations she had come to pitch. The Obama administration hopes the regulations will help save the planet, but the North Dakotans say the rules will put coal and their livelihoods at risk.

“Folks in this room think that E.P.A. says ‘hell no’ to coal,” said Senator Heidi Heitkamp, the North Dakota Democrat who had invited Ms. McCarthy to the state.

Michael Ness, the local school superintendent, warned of consequences. “About 60 percent of kids in our school have parents who work in coal,” he said. Julie Fedorchak, the head of the state’s Public Service Commission, weighed in too. “There’s a huge chilling effect just with the discussion of these rules,” she said."

Coral Davenport reports for the New York Times March 21, 2014.

Source: NY Times, 03/24/2014