When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rolled out regulations that will mean the death of the coal industry, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said the agency would hold a series of public hearings across the country to discuss them.
The EPA will hold 11 hearings in cities where the agency has regional headquarters: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Lenexa, Kan., New York City, Philadelphia, Seattle and Washington, D.C.
If something seems to be lacking on that list, it is.
None of the states where the new regulations will have the most impact are included. No hearings will be held in West Virginia, Kentucky or Wyoming - the top three coal-producing states in the union.
"Excluding all of the states that rely the most on coal from the listening process smacks of outright arrogance by the agency and is a transparent attempt to avoid hearing opinions that differ from the EPA's preconceived ideas," Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said.
Despite President Obama's often-expressed concern about jobs and workers, perhaps he doesn't include the welfare of residents of West Virginia or Kentucky.
Obama has never made it a secret of his disdain for the coal industry or the jobs this industry supports, but it is cruel even for someone as anti-coal as he to not listen to residents in the three states where the policy has the most effect.
Capito is correct.
It is arrogance. It also is cowardly.