A federal court's Friday order that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency delay implementation of drastic new regulations intended to cripple the coal industry was no surprise. Clearly, EPA's plan ignores the rules' ramifications to tens of millions of Americans.
What should have surprised - and irritated - West Virginians was the list of states that sued the EPA and won the court order: Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio and Texas.
Why was the state of West Virginia, which will be hit hard if the rules go into effect, not a party to the lawsuit?
Officials in the six states that sued are trying to safeguard their citizens against unreasonable action by President Barack Obama's administration. Ohio, for example, depends on coal for a major share of its electricity, along with thousands of jobs.
But West Virginia, again, will be hurt even worse than Ohio if the new rules are implemented.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Mountain State legislators should seek for the state to become a party to the lawsuit as it proceeds to an appellate court.