Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin in Tough Senate Race Sues Administration

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin is suing the Obama administration in an attempt to overturn its efforts to curb mountaintop removal coal mining.

The lawsuit filed by the state environmental protection department targets U.S. Environmental Protection Agency policies adopted since Obama took office. They are designed to limit the practice of burying streams under excess rock removed while extracting coal at mines.

The procedures are designed to reduce the number of permits issued for coal mines in West Virginia, Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Kentucky.

The suit comes as Manchin, a Democrat, faces criticism for his ties to Obama in his campaign for the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the death of Robert Byrd.

Manchin said Wednesday the lawsuit was in the works long before Byrd's death in June.