Capito Focuses on Energy Policy in Inaugural Senate Speech


The first woman to represent West Virginia in the U.S. Senate gave her inaugural floor speech today Tuesday, March 10. Energy policy was a big part of Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito’s address. 

Capito said she will focus on improving the state’s roads, broadband access and health care for veterans and children during her time in the Senate. But during her 15-minute speech, U.S. energy policy became a real point of emphasis. 

“We need an affordable, reliable energy policy that utilizes our state’s vast natural resources,” Capito said.

While Capito called greenhouse gas standards proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency misguided, she said the country should find ways to make better use of its fossil fuels.

To achieve that, Capito said Congress should continue to support research efforts such as those at the National Energy Laboratory in Morgantown.

She also says she sees the development of West Virginia’s natural gas reserves as important to the state’s economy. 

During a conference call after her speech, Capito was asked about the disappearance of jobs as drilling operations in the state decline.

Capito said that pushing for a cracker plant in Wood County would lead to more long-term jobs stemming the fracking industry. She said developing an export policy for liquefied natural gas also would extend the industry and could lead to more job creation and expansion.

Capito spent 14 years in the U.S. House of Representatives before she was elected in November to fill the seat of retired Sen. Jay Rockefeller.