Congressman Alex Mooney visited the area on Friday as part of his campaign for Senate, stopping at Pasqaule’s in Beckley to meet with supporters and answer questions about his campaign.
Mooney currently represents West Virginia’s second congressional district, which comprises counties in the state’s northern half.
He first made his announcement in November of last year.
As a representative in the northern part of the state, Mooney said he wants to work with people in the southern half to learn their needs and issues.
“What I have found so far in Congress is every county has similar issues, transportation, the economy, but also a different flavor to their county, a different base of manufacturing, so I think it is one of the tools, listen to voters, see where the job opportunities are,” Mooney said. “Obviously, the ones with coal and oil and gas and fossil fuels, but let’s look for other opportunities, entrepreneurship, for people who want to start their own business.”
As broadband internet access continues to expand in the state, Mooney said that he wants to avoid monopolies in the market for the internet.
“Some counties are able to offer internet locally which provides opportunities there and other ways to get it, so I think competition in the internet service is good for everyone so you don’t have to rely on one monopoly that may not want to serve you. So there is funding available through nonprofit groups that have done it, but it’s also a matter of working with local communities, make sure you can run the lines,” Mooney said.
A key issue that Mooney is targeting is energy. He believes that the free market is the best way to handle coal, fossil fuels and alternative energy sources.
“I think the government should let the free market determine the energy. One of the problems, particularly with some people in politics, is that they want government to pick the winners and losers in energy and create tax policies and regulations that frankly attack the fossil fuel and the coal industry and benefit others,” Mooney said.