Bipartisan Road Trip

Last Friday, I traveled to Morgantown with my colleague, Representative Peter Welch(D-VT), to hear from local coal workers about the trying times they are facing. It was a moving day as we were joined by over 1,500 miners at the UMWA rally in support of H.R. 2403, the Coal Healthcare and Pensions Act of 2015. Coal miners throughout America risk losing their pensions and health care benefits due to federal regulations and thousands more risk losing their jobs. This bill ensures that these benefits for hard-working UMWA will remain solvent, allowing them the peace of mind they deserve.

The Obama Administration’s continuous War on Coal is driving thousands of coal workers out of their jobs and into uncertainty. This is why we introduced the HELP Act(H.R. 3689), a bipartisan bill to assist workers and communities hit hardest by these regulations. The HELP Act will assist workers and miners in coal communities by providing retraining and job search assistance to those who have lost their jobs or experienced a reduction in wages.

To finish off the day, Rep. Welch and I toured the Harrison County Mine near Morgantown where we saw first-hand the hard work it takes to keep the lights on.


  Fighting back against the War on Coal                  

Back in Washington, I had the opportunity to confront EPA Assistant Administrator Janet McCabe on the litany of regulations destroying coal mining jobs in West Virginia. The EPA’s Clean Power Plan(CPP), their most recent ruling in the War on Coal, will impose strict emissions rulings on power plants throughout the United States.  This new wave of regulations will leave thousands jobless, raise electric prices for millions, and threaten our electrical grid. Watch my comments on these new rulings here.

On Thursday, as Chairman of the Coal Caucus, I led a roundtable discussion between members and Hal Quinn, President and CEO of the National Mining Association(NMA).  During the meeting, we discussed a variety of issues that are impacting the coal industry, notably the Stream Protection Rule and the Clean Power Plan.  

To finish off the week, a federal court of appeals blocked the implementation of the EPA’s controversial expansion of the “Waters of the U.S. ruling.” This ruling would have devastating effects on farmers, coal miners, and homeowners across West Virginia, allowing the EPA unprecedented authority to regulate little more than ponds and streams. While the fight is not yet over, blocking this ruling is an important first step in pushing back against this drastic power grab.

Standing up for American Consumers

This Thursday, the House Energy and Commerce’s Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee, held an initial hearing on Volkswagen’s usage of “defeat devices” to cheat emissions standards on diesel cars. As Vice-Chairman of this subcommittee, I was able to question Volkswagen Group of America President Michael Horn(pictured)and listen to his explanations regarding this unprecedented deception.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans put their trust in this company and its intentional deceit of American laws and consumers must have severe consequences.  The Energy & Commerce Committee will continue to monitor VW and hold it accountable for its actions.

Mountaineers Update

Tomorrow, the Mountaineers take on Oklahoma State University in a Homecoming duel in Morgantown. WVU is 3-1 following a disappointing loss against Oklahoma University last week in their first Big 12 game of the season. The 5-0 OSU Cowboys will be another fierce conference completion.

The Mountaineers will need to focus on defense this game after losing star safety Karl Joseph for the season. But, I have no doubt that our boys will harness the momentum of a packed Mountaineer field and bring Morgantown a Homecoming win. Let’s go, Mountaineers!

Have a Great Weekend!


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