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McAuliffe stand on EPA coal regs is campaign grist

Wednesday - 10/2/2013, 7:23pm  ET

AP Political Writer

RICHMOND, Va. - It took Terry McAuliffe two weeks to state that he supports the Environmental Protection Agency's new regulations on coal. Now, Republicans are counting on it to solidify support in rural Virginia for Ken Cuccinelli in a close governor's race.

McAuliffe told reporters Tuesday in northern Virginia that he supports the EPA regulations that limit the amount of carbon emissions that could come from gas- or coal-fired power plants in the future. The regulations could sharply reduce the demand for coal from mining regions such as southwestern Virginia.

Cuccinelli and fellow Republicans began hammering McAuliffe across rural Virginia Wednesday.

It's an area, however, that rarely supports Democrats.

Democratic consultant Dave "Mudcat" Saunders, who doesn't support McAuliffe, says McAuliffe was in bad shape in southwestern Virginia before his announcement and still is.

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