Combs said that during the delegate selection process, "I made it clear from the beginning that I could not cast a supporting vote if I did not get to speak with someone from the president’s administration about coal. When that did not happen, I stepped aside – not as a party protest, but to uphold a promise I had made to my constituents." But this year, she got a meeting in Atlanta with Gwen Keys Fleming, who was the regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency and "is now in a more high-profile role as the federal agency’s chief of staff. My hope is that we can continue this dialogue in the months ahead, either in Eastern Kentucky or West Virginia."
Combs concluded, "I believe the time has come to focus less on placing blame and focus more on how coal-mining regions can move forward. We need to be talking about the new reality of less mining because we’ve known since 1992 this day was coming." (Read more)