Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Griffith to McAuliffe: "Do Not Carry On the War on Coal"

From U.S. Representative Morgan Griffith:

"​Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) today issued the following statement regarding reports that Governor Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) will soon be proposing to limit State tax credits and deductions that assist coal producers with coalfield jobs and electricity generation:

“Coal-producing regions such as the Ninth District of Virginia are already reeling from job losses resulting from federal regulations and the Obama Administration’s ongoing war on coal.  Sadly, now it seems our State Executive will soon be declaring his own war on coal as well.”

“Governor McAuliffe claims to want jobs, economic growth, and to ‘put Virginia first.’  But one may question the motive behind his reported policies.”

“As I have said repeatedly, the war on coal, while targeting the coal industry, affects us all.  Those working in the coalfields suffer as a result of these policies, but also harmed are the industries that rely on coal mines.  When coal jobs are cut, the people who supply materials to the coal mines, those operating the trains carrying the coal, and the people working in the ports that ship the coal are all impacted.  And when the work stops below the ground in coal-producing communities, life above ground is impacted as well, hurting the livelihoods of many in the surrounding communities.”

“Under the Constitution of Virginia, the State has an obligation to make sure educational opportunities are equal throughout the State.  The continued war on coal makes it even harder on coal-producing localities to fund K-12 education.  To make up for the dollars these localities are losing by virtue of the actions of the Obama Administration in Washington and now his Administration in Richmond, Governor McAuliffe should also be increasing the amount of money from the State Treasury going to these communities.  Absent significant new expenditures for education in coal-producing parts of Southwest Virginia, I fear the Governor’s proposals are short-sighted.”

“I have one message for those waging the war on coal: end the war on coal so that the people in coal-producing regions of Southwest Virginia can better support their own local governments, schools, and their own families.”"