Coal production and the energy it provides are vital to our local, state and national interests. The West Virginia Chamber of Commerce will redouble its support for domestic energy producers and the jobs they provide to tens of thousands of West Virginia families.
The West Virginia Chamber, made up of small businesses and mid-size firms that employ over half of West Virginia's workers, again calls on elected public servants in Washington to assist energy producing companies, jobs and the families they support throughout West Virginia.
Many state leaders including Governor Joe Manchin III, Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito, Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin and House Speaker Richard Thompson have challenged new federal regulations and legislation aimed at reducing domestic energy production. These leaders recognize that now is not the time for capitulation or lack of direction and fortitude. These times call for renewed strength, energy and commitment to the future of West Virginia.
The West Virginia Chamber will stand up for our state's working families by protecting and defending the very jobs that define our economy and provide a quality of life worth defending. It is our hope that elected officials, including Senator Byrd, will keep fighting hard every day for jobs, energy and our American way of life.
I thank Senator Byrd for defining his position on the future of coal. We agree that an honest dialogue on this complex issue is needed and continue to seek active engagement by our congressional delegation regarding coal permits, cap-and-trade and our state's economy.
(Editor's Note: Roberts is president of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce.)