Deep in Virginia's mountains, in coal country lies our 9th Congressional District. The history of this area has always been regarded as a little renegade. Historically, since before the Civil War, the people of coal country have been rugged individualists, opponents of discrimination, and Republicans. Even through the ravages of Reconstruction, the party of Lincoln thrived there. Their resistance to inequality and the prevailing Democrat Byrd Machine in the early 20th Century earned them the nickname "The Fighting 9th".
New coal regulations in effect by the EPA threaten to send the Fighting 9th the same way as Detroit, Pittsburgh, and other victims of strangling regulations and empty federal promises. Today, Delegate Greg Habeeb published an excellent Op. Ed. in the Roanoke Times that hits the heart of the issue: the consequences.
Declining American manufacturing has already hit once-thriving Danville. Pittsylvania County is a living example of how far the government will follow through with their promises to turn around the area. After they eviscerated the industry that permeated nearly every facet of life there, they left in their wake some of the highest unemployment numbers and poverty numbers in the state. That was over 40 years ago, and much is the same.
Even the Fighting 9th will not come out of this uninjured, folks. Don't let Terry, the President, or anyone else convince you otherwise. This is ghost-town engineering at work, and we have the chance to fight it. Be part of the tradition.
VA GOP Caucus