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Southwestern Virginia Feeling Impact From Coal Regulations

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The Obama Administration is placing strict new regulations on the coal industry. Southwestern Virginia Republican Rep. Morgan Griffith says his constituents are feeling the impact already.

"It's not the electric company that pays for that," he says. "It's the householders and the businesses out there. And so every man, woman and child is going to see their electric rates sky rocket, as the president promised when he embarked on this policy in 2008. I just don't think people believed him when he told them that, but now it's going to happen."

Northern Virginia Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly says Griffith is exaggerating the extent of the economic repercussions from the new rules.

"No, the largest utility in Virginia, the Dominion Power, has already taken this into account. It's already made the retrofits or built new power plants that meet the current standards. So I think the disruption might be localized, maybe it may very well affect Mr. Griffith's district, but I think for the rest of the state, there won't be disruption, and I think the impact might be minimal."

The new rules are transforming the economy in southwestern Virginia. Now it's a waiting game to see how much that impacts rate payers throughout the rest of the Commonwealth.

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