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McKinley Speaks Out on Variety of Subjects

Presidential Candidates, Coal Among Topics In Interview With Chronicle

April 20, 2016
BY LAUREN MATTHEWS - Editor (lmatthews@wetzelchronicle.com) , Wetzel Chronicle

Many of us are talking about the 2016 United States Presidential Election, and United States Congressman David McKinley, R-W.Va., is no different.

"They need to stop the name calling," he said of the candidates during an interview at the Wetzel Chronicle on Thursday, April 7.

McKinley did not directly endorse any candidate but noted that he likes Ohio Governor John Kasich.

Article Photos

Photo Provided
United States Congressman David McKinley, R-W.Va., talks with Valley High School students on April 7. McKinley said he was impressed by questions the students had for him.

"He has written a budget and stuck to it," he said.

Regardless of who becomes president, McKinley stressed the importance of the 2016 Presidential election. He noted that many justices on the United States Supreme Court will be retiring. "Appointments last for a lifetime," he said.

McKinley also noted the importance of someone who will be sensitive to coal.

"We need to stop the war on coal," he said.

McKinley noted that West Virginia ranks at the bottom when it comes to jobs. "This isn't by Congress but by regulatory bodies," he noted.

McKinley referenced a recent Op-Ed piece regarding recent testimony given by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, before the Energy and Commerce Committee in the House of Representatives.

In his Op-Ed, McKinley stated "After being pressed for the motivation behind a new set of regulations, (McCarthy) acknowledged that rules impacting the fossil fuel industry weren't about reducing greenhouse gases or containing global warming. No, she said, they were to demonstrate American "leadership" and garner support for an international climate change agreement reached in Paris."

In his Op-Ed, as well as in his interview with the Chronicle, McKinley had regarded to the fact that the rest of the world is not following this leadership since the Paris agreement was reached in December. India plans to double its production of coal, while Japan and South Korea have announced plans for 61 new coal-fired power plants. Likewise, coal consumption in China is expected to increase.

"Countries around the world have a voracious appetite for low-cost dependable energy produced from coal and they intend to feed it," McKinley stated.

McKinley also noted that regulations between 2009 and 2014 have forced many coal fired plants to close, costing the United States economy almost 40,000 jobs.

McKinley's interview with the Chronicle followed a visit the congressman had just made to Pine Grove, where he visited the mayor and city council. McKinley also paid a visit with Valley High School students and was impressed with what he witnessed.

"They did a really good job," he said of the Lumberjacks, adding "They were one of the best groups in regards of quality of questions."

McKinley received a variety of questions from students, including questions concerning the United States' relationship with Iran.

McKinley does not think highly of the Iran deal.

McKinley speaks of legislation that was passed by both the Senate and the House - the Justice for Victims of Iranian Terrorism Act. This measure would have prevented President Barack Obama from lifting sanctions on Iran until damages were paid to American victims of Iranian-sponsored terrorism.

Iran owes billions of dollars in court-awarded damages to American victims of attacks. Yet, McKinley noted, the Iran nuclear deal allows Iran to receive around $100 billion as a result of sanctions relief.

Though the Justice for Victims of Iranian Terrorism Act passed both the House and Senate, President Obama vetoed the bill.

In another matter, Congressman McKinley noted how Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan had planned to focus on five main issues during 2016: national security, jobs and economic growth, health care, poverty and opportunity, and Constitutional authority.

McKinley referenced that 46 million American are on food stamps, and over a third of Americans are eligible for energy assistance.

"What are we doing?" he questioned. "We've got to give people a chance!"

And as for Constitutional authority? "The president thinks he can get around Congress with executive orders," McKinley stated.

When considering all that the congressman has on his mind - loss of jobs, plummeting goal industry, Coal, bad deals with Iran, and more - it is hard to see a silver lining.

When asked how he remains optimistic, McKinley said "that is the reason I got into this."

"It's not about us," he said. "It's about my grandchildren."

"I don't like politics," he added, further stressing the importance of remaining focused on "what needs to get done."

And the congress does remain focused on ways to make America better, a leader in the right way.

Throughout his discussion, McKinley referenced several different countries he has visited throughout his career. When asked what visit impressed him the most, McKinley pondered the "good" question but then answered France.

Why? Because the country recycles its spent nuclear fuel rods, unlike the United States which is supposed to store its nuclear waste in Yucca Mountain.

"France is recycling them, not just sitting on them."

"They are doing it. We are not," he said.

 
 
 

 

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