West Virginians hold the coal industry responsible for air and water contamination in the state, and they are tired of the stranglehold they believe the industry’s lobbyists have on state politics.

That’s just one of many powerful findings of a new poll out today about the aftermath of the January coal chemical spill in Charleston, West Virginia.

The Sierra Club and Hart Research Associates polled West Virginia voters, and look at the results:

1) West Virginians do not view the January coal chemical spill as an isolated incident – 69 percent think the spill was a result of companies acting irresponsibly (only 21 percent saw the spill as an accident) and believe future spills will happen again unless something changes.

2) West Virginians strongly support increased regulations and enforcement to protect air and water. And they don’t just want ‘better enforcement” in the abstract – they solidly endorse specific changes in policy and more EPA involvement in the state.

3) Two out of every three West Virginians support political candidates who are independent of the coal industry.

This is major news – even in a state long dominated by the coal industry, my fellow […]

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