West Virginia’s Republican congressional and state leaders say they are ready to work with President-elect Donald Trump on rolling back cumbersome environmental regulations while also working to promote a business-friendly environment. We believe the local delegation will be well positioned — both in Washington and Charleston — to make positive change.
Republicans control both West Virginia legislative houses, both houses of the U.S. Congress and soon the presidency. Members of the GOP delegation met last week in Charleston, and later hosted a press conference where they outlined their goals. Those plans include working with Trump in undoing many of the controversial environmental regulations mandated by the Obama administration that have proven to be job killers in West Virginia and neighboring Virginia.
U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said the Obama administration has overstepped its authority in energy, financial and other sectors. She says the immediate goals of the Republican majorities are creating jobs, improving infrastructure, and “attacking the regulations that have basically weighted down our ability to create jobs and grow.”
Capito was joined at the press conference by U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., U.S. Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and other Republican lawmakers, including Tim Armstead, who will likely be the new West Virginia House speaker and Mitch Carmichael, the new West Virginia Senate president.
On the state level, Armstead and Carmichael say they want the state’s budget and economic issues to be the top priority of the upcoming session. Carmichael identified four specific goals: reducing West Virginia’s “over burdensome” regulatory schemes, reducing the state’s lawsuit-friendly atmosphere, advancing the education system and letting local entities have more control, and making the state’s tax structure competitive with everywhere else.
“Basically we have such a great opportunity here,” Capito said in reference to the Republican majorities in Washington and Charleston.
We agree. With hope, lawmakers will hit the ground running when it comes to rolling back those job-killing regulations that have caused great harm in the coalfield counties of southern West Virginia and Southwest Virginia over the past eight years.
We also believe it is imperative for state lawmakers to continue their push for a more pro-business, job-friendly environment in West Virginia. This includes making the state’s tax structure more competitive, rolling back regulatory burdens on the state level that are impediments to job growth, and taking continued steps to alleviate lawsuit abuse.