W.Va. politicians react to the State of the Union address
U.S. Rep. Nick J. Rahall, D.-W.Va.: “The President correctly is making jobs a national priority, and, when it comes to transportation and infrastructure investments to grow the economy and build for the future, I am with him. But, on the energy front, he is absolutely wrong in his misguided efforts to circumvent the Congress with unilateral regulatory actions that will result in job loss, especially when it comes to the EPA’s unfair and inequitable treatment of coal mining in Appalachia, which the Congress and the courts are rightly resisting. I intend to keep on doing all that I can to promote coal and keep our miners on the job producing affordable energy for the Nation.”
U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.: “Tonight, it’s been encouraging to see that our national agenda touches on so many of the issues I hear about from West Virginians every day and priorities I have long fought for. Our focus must remain on creating jobs, building up our middle class, and supporting families who struggle.
“There are so many proven ways to accomplish this — many of which were mentioned tonight. We need to boost our workforce by investing in education so students can afford to get a degree or the best training for the jobs of today and tomorrow. We need to invest in manufacturing to help local businesses grow and hire more workers. And we need to invest in infrastructure to make sure our country and state have the transportation and technology to compete globally.
“I’m also encouraged that the President agrees it’s time to bring more troops home. I have long urged the President to reduce our troops in Afghanistan in a safe and responsible way, so we can focus our resources on other urgent threats, like cybersecurity.
“In West Virginia we also agree that we need to reduce our deficit, and that it is past time to ask large corporations and the wealthiest Americans to do their part to help keep our country strong.
“I’m hopeful that this year and moving forward Congress can work together more productively. The American people expect and deserve nothing less. And I am as determined as ever to fight for the people of West Virginia and the causes that matter so much here at home.”
U.S. Rep Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.: “President Obama has attacked West Virginia resources from Day One, and it is clear that his extreme energy agenda will only pick up steam in his second term. He said it himself, if Congress doesn’t act on climate legislation — he will. He expressly said that he would pick winners and losers in the energy economy, and we all know coal will be in the losing column.
“The Administration’s rules and regulations have already contributed to 2,000 layoffs throughout Appalachia, and one recent report found that West Virginia lost 1,200 mining jobs in the last quarter of 2012 alone.
“I will continue to do everything I can to protect West Virginia jobs and resources, which power our state, our country and even the world. We must achieve a balanced approach to meet our energy needs, one that takes into account both economic and environmental impacts. The President needs to hold himself accountable to the American people, not an environmental lobby.
“I am disappointed that the President is choosing to pursue his broken economic and energy agendas with even more fervor. West Virginians know that when twelve million of our neighbors want jobs but can’t find them, when every child is born with $53,000 worth of debt on their shoulders, when the economy is actually shrinking for the first time in three years, we’re not doing alright.
“It’s time for a new direction and a new vision to get our economy back on track.”
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