Republican West Virginia State Senator for District 7 Rupie Phillips (R-LOGAN, 07) reacts to President Biden’s executive orders, specifically those that dial back on the use of fossil fuels.
Less than one week ago, President Biden signed a series of executive orders that highlight climate change and halt new oil and natural gas leases on public lands and waters, thereby beginning an extensive review of existing permits for fossil fuel development. In addition to the standstill on leasing, Biden plans to double offshore wind production by 2030, as well as conserve 30 percent of federal lands and water.
Biden also had the United States re-enter the Paris accord- the landmark agreement by nearly 200 nations aimed to mitigate climate change- and canceled the permit for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Following the news of these executive orders, Phillips, an outspoken West Virginia coal supporter and Vice Chairman of the Energy, Industry and Mining Committee, says Biden’s decisions are one-sided.
“He isn’t listening, and it just doesn’t make sense. He is catering to the group that has investments in green energy- those brainwashed professors and college jokes are nothing but a bunch of liberals that don’t know how to do anything. Wind and solar cannot make it. They cannot make it, and if you listen, Biden said wind and solar are cheaper energy than fossil fuels. Why should my tax dollar pay for subsidies? I will support doing away with subsidies to wind and solar,” he said.
Phillips continued, stating that West Virginia still has over 100 years of coal production left that need to be lived out before the country considers substitutions.
“You don’t have to stop trying to find other ways, but you don’t just kill something when it’s still got life in it. Biden said by 2035 all vehicles will be battery-powered. But where is the fuel coming from? Where is the electricity coming from? Dozers and excavators won’t work on battery. We need fossil fuels to continue to push them around.”
Phillips has not curbed his disapproval for the Biden Administration’s actions and believes other Delegates and members of the Senate will support him on this issue.
“West Virginia does a damn good job to help the world, not just with coal mining but with all mining. I am going to fight for West Virginia coal mines. We are a fossil fuel state, and we will stay a fossil fuel state,” he said. “We plan to fight. When Trump did stuff, they refused to do it. If they can refuse, why can’t we? It has been tough to find out what’s other Senators and Delegates’ minds. I think there are a lot of like-mind people. Once we are session, I can talk to everybody and see where they stand. I think there will be a lot of support to say no to Biden.”
Referring to Biden as “Job-killer Joe,” Phillips shared his concern that more jobs will continue to be eliminated over the next four years.
“Hillary Clinton wanted to spend $30 billion in the Appalachian area to retrain coal miners. You know what, we don’t need that many heating and air conditioning repairmen; we need coal in southern West Virginia. We want to continue that because we are darn good at it.”
“I just want to stand up for my beliefs,” Phillips said. “I am going to fight for southern West Virginian conservative values. I represent three whole counties and two partial counties, but I am fighting for the whole state. Biden has probably just made Carter and Obama very happy that they are not the worst presidents now.”
Phillips addressed the people of West Virginia, stating that he will fight for fossil fuels as long as he has a seat in the State Senate.