WV Democratic lawmakers to travel to Washington for EPA meeting - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

WV Democratic lawmakers to travel to Washington for EPA meeting

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The West Virginia Democratic Party announces a trip to Washington D.C. to talk about the coal industry with the Environmental Protection Agency.

The trip will take place August 1.

A party spokesperson says their message will be that policies from Washington trickle down to coal country and are having a negative impact on the families of coal miners and the local economy.

About 17 state democratic lawmakers are expected to make the trip.

Regarding the planned trip, West Virginia Republican Chairman Conrad Lucas says, "The party of Obama and his endorsers who stood in the governor's office today have done everything possible to destroy the coal industry, raise energy prices and allow the government to take over health care and weaken our nation."

PRESS RELEASE FROM WV DEMOCRATIC PARTY:

 

Democratic Leaders Traveling to Washington to Defend Coal
CHARLESTON, W.V. - Today Democratic Party Chairman Larry Puccio, Senate President Jeff Kessler, and House Speaker Tim Miley announced that they will be traveling to Washington on August 1, 2013 to meet with EPA officials and members of the current administration. Along with Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin and Congressman Nick Rahall they will lead a delegation of Democratic legislators and business and labor leaders to help protect and support WV hardworking families and coal miners.
Chairman Puccio said, "This is not about politics, this is about people. This is about the coal miner that has risked their life to support their family, this is about the construction worker from the trades that builds safe structure, and this is about the small business owner who serves those coal communities. So as I travel to Washington next week I will deliver one strong message: While for many years Americans have called on our coal miners to keep the lights on for them and their families, today we call on America to keep the lights on for the families of our coal miners."
U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller said in a statement - "I understand the President wants to move forward on climate change, but his plan is short on details, and those details matter in the lives of West Virginians. Any action on climate change is going to have a direct effect on the lives of our mining communities that are already facing great uncertainties, and on the pocketbooks of every one of our middle-class families still dealing with a recovering job market."
"I'm deeply concerned, in its current form, there's not enough emphasis in the President's plan on the people who are the backbone of our economy and the fabric of our nation," Sen. Rockefeller continued. "And any roadmap to deal with our future energy needs must include the promise of clean coal. Our demand for energy can't be met without it."
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin said in a statement - "The coal industry has been the backbone of America's energy production for over a century. Coal transformed this country from a wilderness into an industrial superpower, providing the steel that has built and protects our great nation. And now, decades later, West Virginians continue to play a vital role in producing this energy. In our great state and across this country, we are so blessed to have such an abundance of natural resources at our disposal; it's simply common sense that we take full advantage of our resources right here at home, and that includes coal. We cannot allow President Obama, the EPA or anyone else demonize the one source of energy that produces more of this country's electricity than any other single source. As your United States Senator, I will continue to fight for coal, an all-of-the-above energy policy, and our economic and national security."
U.S. Congressman Nick Rahall said in a statement - "The misguided, misinformed and untenable policy that the President put forth threatens the energy security of America and the jobs of millions of our citizens. Locking away the fuels that power our nation behind ideologically imposed barriers will drive up costs for nearly every business and manner of industrial activity while driving jobs overseas. Households that are already struggling to make ends meet will see energy bills skyrocket. I look forward to joining this delegation of West Virginia Democrats in expressing these views to the Administration."
Senate President Jeff Kessler said in his remarks, "We need to have an energy policy that includes all of the above, and that includes coal. Coal has been an important component of our state, of our communities, of our jobs, and of our tax base. We need to make sure the message is heard loud and clear: that coal does keep on the lights in this state, in this country, in this region and in our communities."
West Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Tim Miley said in his remarks, "I pledge on behalf of the delegates in the House that we will continue to fight hard for the coal industry, not just to remain viable, but to be the thriving industry we so desperately rely on. Hopefully this visit that we make will have an impact on the people in Washington who are regulating the coal industry here in West Virginia. They need to understand the very real and damaging effect those regulations are having on the people we represent."

Delegate Mike Caputo said in his remarks on behalf of the UMWA, "It's time for the rhetoric to stop, it's time to have serious discussions with this administration. The Democratic Party has always been about taking care of people. So our union is very proud to be a part of this delegation to go to Washington and convince the administration that while reasonable regulation is fine, we've got to continue to mine coal, because it is the main piston in our economic engine in West Virginia."

STATEMENT FROM WEST VIRGINIA REPUBLICAN PARTY CHAIRMAN CONRAD LUCAS:

"Today, we saw a lot of disingenuous hypocrisy from liberals in West Virginia. Press conferences are a way for Democrats to distract from key issues and their steadfast support of anti-coal policies. But, facts are facts. The party of Obama and his endorsers who stood at the Governor's office today have done everything possible to destroy the coal industry, raise energy prices, allow the government to take over health care and weaken our nation.

Despite today's charade, thankfully West Virginia voters soundly rejected Obama and Democrats last year and will continue to do so in subsequent election cycles. A new era will soon be ushered in as Republicans pass legislation to save our great state and reverse years of devastating Democrat control. 

 We're excited that West Virginia Democrats will be taking a bus out of state - citizens can only hope it is a one way trip."
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