Capito: Fight For Coal Urgent

MOUNDSVILLE – Rep. Shelley Moore Capito told a crowd Friday she wants to be the voice of West Virginia coal issues in the U.S. Senate.

Capito – a native of Glen Dale – came home Friday night to serve as keynote speaker for the Marshall County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner at the Moundsville Country Club.

Capito will seek the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va. in 2014.

She was critical of climate control regulations announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that impose additional limits on carbon dioxide emissions from all future coal and natural gas power plants.

“It’s incredible for all of us to believe a president of the U.S. would formulate policies that are going to result in tremendous job loss across the state and the region, and a tremendous rise in utility costs,” she said. “That hurts our manufacturers. That hurts our job base. But think about those on fixed income. What’s another $150 on your utility bill? That really is going to be the difference between buying food, or being able to put gas in the car.”

Capito believes the nation can weave a balance between maintaining both jobs and protecting the environment.

“We’ve done it here for years in West Virginia – some years better than others,” she said. “But we know better ways to do it and more efficient ways to do it. It’s not just about a domestic resource. It’s about security, too. If we can become self-reliant – which we can with coal, and natural gas, and wind and water and renewables – we would be less reliant on all the upheaval that’s been going on in the world.”

Proposed domestic environmental policies also are affecting both international relations and the world economy, Capito said.

“Our president will not even ratify the Keystone Pipeline, which would mean immediately 20,000 jobs,” she said. “And it comes from a friendly country – Canada. He’s more willing to let us have policies that export our resources to China, Japan and India so they can use our cheaper resource – coal – burn it without any environmental requirements, then manufacture products that are competing against American products, using our energy resources.”

Capito this week introduced a bill to amend the Clean Air Act to prohibit any regulation pertaining to carbon dioxide emission from coal-fired electric plants from taking effect “until the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency makes certain certifications.”

Capito explained this means “international cooperation” regarding any regulatory changes should be achieved before any new regulations go into effect.

“We’re tying one hand behind our back, and this administration is doing it,” she said. “And the Senate is not stopping it. There is a lot of frustration with the Senate. That’s one of the primary reasons I’m asking you to send me to be that voice in the U.S. Senate to stand up for West Virginia jobs.”

Also speaking at the dinner was Capito’s West Virginia colleague in the House, Rep. David McKinley. He said there is an enormous frustration in the House after passing bills, sending them to the Senate, “and watching them die.”

“It’s important that we have someone there who is like-minded,” McKinley said.