MOUNDSVILLE - Over-regulation from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Obama administration has led to fuel being America's main export, Rep. David McKinley told those gathered at a town hall meeting Tuesday at the Moundsville-Marshall County Public Library.
McKinley, R-Wheeling, touched on a number of issues during the meeting, focusing on job creation and capitalizing on America's strengths.
He said over the past few years, strict regulations on fuel producers have caused some companies to shut down altogether. However, he said some have continued to produce fuel at levels under EPA requirements and are instead profiting by selling it to other companies.
"We are keeping our jobs here, but we aren't selling it here," he said.
McKinley said the rise in fuel costs directly correlates with the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Current averages show gas costs $3.94 per gallon and even higher in some of the more heavily regulated states.
"California and New York have the highest prices, and they also have some of the most strict regulations," he said.
The EPA and the current administration also have had an impact on coal production, McKinley said, adding the increase in those regulations should not come as a shock.
Obama "said when he was running that he would not support clean coal," he said. "He's our president, and we have to support him, but understand that this is their mindset."
McKinley pointed to comments from Obama and others in his administration in which they made it known fossil fuel was not on their agenda.
He specifically said Secretary of Energy Steven Chu cited energy as his "worst nightmare."
"I told him the EPA is the worst nightmare to working men and women," McKinley said. "They cause uncertainty, and people just want to go to work tomorrow and know they have a job."
McKinley promised during the hour-long meeting to continue fighting EPA regulations and making decisions based on what he hears from his constituents.