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The economy of West Virginia is heavily reliant on coal, which emits high levels of carbon dioxide when burned to fuel electric utilities and factories.

Industry has complained that the EPA regulations would be costly to implement and would raise consumer energy prices.

In January, EPA is scheduled to give the green light to regulations, long under development, requiring utilities, factories and other big polluters to get permits for the carbon dioxide they emit.

EPA also would require plants to use best available technology when expanding or building new facilities.

EPA’s moves toward regulating carbon come after Congress failed this year to pass comprehensive legislation controlling greenhouse-gas emissions that contribute to global climate change problems.

Earlier this year, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Alaska Republican, proposed a permanent ban on EPA regulation of carbon, a move that failed on a 53-47 vote.

FDA

Avastin not suitable for breast cancer

Federal health authorities are recommending the blockbuster drug Avastin no longer be used to treat breast cancer, saying recent studies failed to show the drug’s original promise to help slow the disease.

The Food and Drug Administration’s decision is supported by many cancer experts, but is sure to draw resistance from cancer patients and some doctors who fiercely defend the drug and say it should remain available.

The FDA approved Avastin for breast cancer in 2008 based on studies suggesting it halted the spread of breast cancer for more than five months. But follow-up studies showed that delay lasted no more than three months, and patients suffered dangerous side effects.

Doctors will still be able to prescribe the drug “off-label,” though some insurers may not pay for it.