MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The Dominion Post endorses David B. McKinley for U.S. House of Representatives 1st Congressional District.
During his three two-year terms in the House, he has consistently worked to restore a modicum of civility and bipartisanship in Congress.
In these hyper-partisan times, he, like some of our nation’s earliest presidents, sees partisan politics as one of the greatest dangers to democracy.
Though many of his peers —on both sides of the aisle — in the House would back up his efforts in this regard, a look at some of his most prominent endorsements also supports this notion.
Those endorsements unsurprisingly include the Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia and the West Virginia Business and Industry Council.
But surprisingly also include the United Mine Workers of America and the West Virginia Education Association.
Though McKinley’s efforts to expand clean coal funding may be a case of tilting at windmills, his efforts have spared a major federal facility in Morgantown — the National Energy Technology Facility (NETL).
He admits we cannot ignore climate change or deny it, however, he continues to question whether rising carbon dioxide levels is the culprit.
But he has successfully made the case if we are trying to reduce carbon emissions, why slash this facility’s budget.
NETL is the largest Department of Energy lab in the country, and McKinley believes our best hope to find ways to burn fossil fuels cleaner.
As a lawmaker with an engineering background, McKinley knows all too well that clean coal research and development like any scientific process is filled with far more false starts, mistakes and failures than eureka moments.
Unlike many who simply rail against the so-called war on coal, McKinley weighs in far more on funding clean coal research than on empty political rhetoric.
Admittedly, we are often not on the same page with McKinley about environmental concerns, hot-button social issues and energy policy.
However, we have found him more than willing to sit down and debate such issues and listen to the other side.
He has also broken ranks with some or all in the Republican Party, such as on the Coal Mine Healthcare and Protection Act and several international trade deals in the past.
We have also noted his contributions to everything from more transparency to federal rule-making and combating the opioid epidemic to funding historical preservation and STEM education.
Incumbency and experience is not something McKinley or we take for granted.
Still, when there’s no good reason to replace either in Congress to get things done, we see no reason for a change, for now.