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Rep. Nick Rahall addresses national energy conference

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U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., addressed a national legislative conference hosted by the Boilermakers Union where he highlighted the need for supporting coal.

Rahall said an “all of the above” energy agenda seems to have turned into an “anything but coal” one.

“That’s something our nation, my home state of West Virginia, and many of your members, cannot afford,” Rahall said. “It’s long past time for those here in Washington to wake up and join us, fight for every job, and stop turning their backs on strategies that will grow this economy.”

According to the Boilermakers Union, about half of their membership in the United States is employed in the construction and maintenance of coal-fired power plants. Others members mine coal for a living. They are concerned about restrictive EPA rules that have shut down coal-fired power plants and canceled plans for new ones. Rahall has been fighting against these job-killing regulations.

“I, like many of you, will not stand idly by while this EPA pushes rules that are closing power plants and preventing much-needed investment in our communities,” Rahall added. “We need to start making things in America again. We need to grow our domestic manufacturing sector. And we do this by changing our approach to trade in order to ensure that our workers and industries can compete on a level playing field. But we simply can’t get there by passing more NAFTA-like trade deals,” said Rahall of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free trade agreement that is currently being negotiated between the United States, Japan, and 10 other nations.