U.S. Environmental Protection Agency head Gina McCarthy has come under fire for visiting China to discuss climate change, while rejecting suggestions she should come to West Virginia to see the impact of her agency's campaign to shut down coal-burning power plants.
"It is unfortunate that Gina McCarthy continues to hold energy hearings across the country and across the world, and still refuses to travel to the front lines here in West Virginia," said Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.
He is right, of course. McCarthy and her boss, President Barack Obama, don't seem to care about the effect their war on coal is having here.
But perhaps her visit to China can serve a useful purpose - by spotlighting that country's contribution to climate change.
China emits nearly twice as much carbon dioxide as the U.S. And, while U.S. emissions are expected to hold steady, China's will increase dramatically.
So yes, a visit to China may be a good thing. Afterward, perhaps McCarthy can explain why Obama is taking a hard line toward West Virginia - but not China.