PARSONS - U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., rallied a large crowd Sunday, stressing the importance of coal, at the annual Tucker County Republican Picnic at Mill Race Park.
Capito noted the importance of coal's impact on not only the Mountain State's economy, but the entire nation's economic well-being.
"We have lost thousands of jobs over the last two years, and more over the last six," Capito said. "What can we do about it? We can change the United States Senate. That's why I'm running for Senate, to be that voice ... for West Virginia. Make the EPA accountable. There's such frustration with the administration that basically picks winners and losers in this country. And, we have been picked to be a loser. Our state is in the bull's-eye of the president and Harry Reid, and we have to stop it. The best way to stop it is to change our voice in the United States Senate.
U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., speaks at the annual Tucker County Republican Picnic in Parsons on Sunday. (The Inter-Mountain photo by Matthew Burdette)
"I'm very discouraged that the president would pick an energy resource and say we don't want it anymore," Capito added. "No coal-fired plant in the state meets the new metrics the president has put forward. Our power is going to be more expensive, our most vulnerable populations are going to be hurt by that, and our manufacturing sector is going to be hurt by that.
"I want to see a full and vibrant all-of-the-above policy. What we are doing is tying one hand behind our back. It's not just hurting our economy, it's hurting our national economy."
Putting the coal industry at the forefront, Capito said, would essentially amount to putting West Virginians back to work. In combination with that, Capito wants to focus more on small business to help grow West Virginia's lagging economy.
"I think you have to have small businesses to be able to have streamlined regulations," Capito said. "Our community banks are under tremendous regulatory pressure. We want to be able to have them have the flexibility to serve individuals and communities. In Randolph County, the timber industry is very important and the tourism industry. You need a growing economy to feed all of those. You also want to have D&E be stable. The stability of that institution is important, not just for the community, but for development and the future of the state to be able to invest in young people."
Another policy that concerns Capito is the cumbersome and often inflexible health care law. Capito says some aspects of the policy are good for America and West Virginia. Other parts, she says, need tossed out and revisited. One such aspect is the business mandates and the part-time worker issue.
"People are losing their plans," Capito said. "The costs are just skyrocketing, and people are losing their choices. This has to stop."
The Congresswoman also spoke about the overall political climate, saying many have lost faith in the system.
"Tucker County is absolutely essential for me and the rest of us running for office," she said. "I think the key I want to emphasize today ... it's time to take our country back. It's time for us to set things straight, and we want our values and the issues that are important to us. ... Let's work hard together. Let's get our country back."
"She's been our Congresswoman since 2001, and has done a fantastic job," said Tucker County Republican Chairman Bruce Kolsun. "She has been a voice in Washington for us. I'm so excited she is running for United States Senate."
Aside from Capito's appearance, several local politicians were on hand to show their party pride. Even the Chairman of the West Virginia Republican Party, Conrad Lucas, attended to get the crowd pumped up and excited about the Nov. 4 election.
"The Democrats had a lot of problems recruiting a viable candidate for the United States Senate. They went through 14 different people who said they couldn't beat Shelley. Here we are, 70 days until November - and the election - and the Democrats still haven't found a viable candidate to run against Shelley Moore Capito," Lucas said of the Congresswoman's competition, Natalie Tennant.
Of state politics, Lucas noted, "We're four delegates away from taking the majority in the House f Delegates for the first time since 1928. My thoughts on it are, while we're taking the House of Delegates, let's go ahead and take the state Senate as well. We are going to make sure we send Shelley Moore Capito to the U.S. Senate where she is going to vote against Harry Reid and for a Republican leader who is going to take back the United States Senate. It's a great time to be on our side."