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WV Rep. Capito receives US Chamber award

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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has recognized Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., for her work in promoting energy and business at both the state and national levels.

Capito received the Chamber's Spirit of Enterprise Award following an April 22 luncheon at the offices of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce in Charleston. It was the first time U.S. Chamber officials had presented an award outside of Charleston.

"We chose to come here because the congresswoman has a 100 percent voting record with the U.S. Chamber, which is a remarkable achievement," said Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the Institute for 21st Century Energy with the U.S. Chamber. "This is an award we have given for the last 25 years. I think its worthwhile to note in her entire career in Congress, she has voted with us 91 percent of the time, which is why we wanted to take the time to come here and be part of your state and be part of the discussion and really recognize how much we think of your record and the leadership you've exemplified in the halls of Congress on behalf of the people of West Virginia."

Harbert said Capito is on the front lines in Washington, fighting for jobs and in support of the energy economy, and Capito said she wants to see West Virginia's, and the country's, energy industry grow.

"I think of an energy economy as a jobs economy," she said.

Capito created the Coal Caucus to educate other members of Congress about coal and expand their knowledge of the mining process and how coal can be used across the country going forward.

"If you don't have it in your state and you don't see it, you don't see it barged up the beautiful Kanawha River, maybe you don't really know its there," Capito said. "We see it all the time here."

But its not just energy that has Capito concerned. According to statistics, the number of manufacturing jobs in West Virginia is at its lowest. She found that discouraging.

"America is founded on manufacturing," she said. "West Virginia has a great history of manufacturing. It's not just an economic base, it's a security base, too. If we're no longer manufacturing products in this country and we're relying on other countries to make these products for us, to me if you want to make a decision on how to punish the United States, you start cutting back on the manufactured products."

But Capito said there's a way to keep that from happening.

"I want to see us use our resources to keep our energy prices low to grow those manufacturing jobs," she said.