Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Editorials

October 21, 2012

Endorsement: U.S. House 9th District, Republican Morgan Griffith

In Virginia’s 9th Congressional District, there is one candidate who has earned a reputation as a tireless fighter for coal and coal miners across Southwest Virginia. And that man is U.S. Rep. H. Morgan Griffith, R-Va.

Griffith is being challenged Nov. 6 by Democrat Anthony Flaccavento of Abingdon for the 9th Congressional District seat. Both candidates appear miles apart when it comes to coal and support for the current administration in Washington. Both Griffith and Flaccavento recently met with members of the Daily Telegraph’s editorial board. After careful consideration, we endorse Griffith for re-election to the Fightin’ Ninth.

Griffith, who served three terms in the Virginia House of Delegates before becoming the first Republican in Virginia history to hold the house majority leader position, won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010 by defeating previously popular incumbent Democrat Rick Boucher. However, Boucher’s support of the “American Clean Energy & Security Act of 2009” angered voters in the coalfields of Southwest Virginia, and the cap-and-trade controversy provided an opening for Griffith, who easily unseated the veteran Democrat.

During his first two-year term, Griffith has led the fight against cap and trade, and in support of coal, in the U.S. House of Representatives. He has provided a strong voice for Southwest Virginia, and has emerged as a voice of reason and sanity in Washington when it comes to the importance of coal, natural gas and other domestically abundant natural resources.

Considering the war on coal the Obama administration and its politically charged EPA continues to wage on the coalfields of Southwest Virginia and southern West Virginia, we believe it is critical to keep Griffith in office. And we need a few more lawmakers like Griffith in both the House and the Senate who are willing to stand up and fight for coal and natural gas.

Flaccavento, a political newcomer, has some good ideas. However, his camp is sending mixed signals when it comes to coal. For example, a press release issued just last Friday by campaign spokesman David Miranda refers to a “non existent war on coal.” Really?

Given the current — and very real — anti-coal climate in Washington, we could not imagine changing leadership in the 9th Congressional District.

We need Morgan Griffith in Washington. We need a lawmaker who will fight for coal and natural gas, and a comprehensive national energy policy that doesn’t unfairly favor green energy over coal, oil, natural gas and other domestic resources.

When voters in Southwest Virginia head to the polls on Nov. 6, we urge them to vote for Morgan Griffith in Virginia’s 9th Congressional District. A vote for Griffith is a vote for coal, coal miners and a common-sense national energy policy.

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