“I cannot support the House bill in its present form,” Byrd said in a statement. “I continue to believe that clean coal can be a ‘green’ energy. Those of us who understand coal’s great potential in our quest for energy independence must continue to work diligently in shaping a climate bill that will ensure access to affordable energy for West Virginians. I remain bullish about the future of coal, and am so very proud of the miners who labor and toil in the coalfields of West Virginia.”
Byrd grew up in the coalfields of Stotesbury, W.Va., in Raleigh County. Jesse Jacobs, spokesman for Byrd, said the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will begin marking up the “cap and trade” bill later this month, with floor debate scheduled for September or October.
“So it is our hope that yes, Sen. Byrd will be here to vote on the legislation,” Jacobs continued. “His return will be determined by his doctors and family members.”
Jay Rockefeller is still doing the dance, however.
Jessica Tice, Rockefeller’s state press secretary, said the senator “followed the process in the House on the climate change legislation very closely” and “continues to have serious concerns about the House bill.” Tice also said Rockefeller will “continue working with his colleagues to make sure West Virginia’s interests are represented.”