West Virginia Public Broadcasting has been talking with the candidates about the issues important to your lives.
We spoke with U.S. Senate challenger Jay Wolfe, a Republican from Harrison County. Wolfe shares his thoughts on energy and what he calls "West Virginia Values."
Transcript of interview with Jay Wolfe
I am Jay Wolfe and I am a small business owner in West Virginia. I’ve raised three businesses and cell phone stores and insurance business and some rental property. I also am a native of West Virginia.
I was born in Parkersburg. I married my high school girlfriend, Mollie. We’ve been married 33 years and we’ve raised four children and now have four grandchildren. We live up in the Salem area in Harrison County.
I think it’s important to look at our current Senator’s voting record and that’s why I’m running. Not that I have anything personally against Senator Rockefeller, but he does not represent most West Virginians on the issues. And that’s what we’re trying to spell out in this campaign is the differences between where I would stand on the issues and where he stands.
Good example, let’s start with energy. Probably the number one issue on people’s minds today is why are we having to pay such high gasoline prices. Why are we so dependent on foreign oil? Senator Rockefeller has been there for 24 years and he’s asking West Virginians for another six year term.
And I’ve got to ask West Virginians; do you really think knowing that the family fortune of the Rockefeller family has come from oil, is it possible that if we give him another six year term will he work to reduce the price of oil? I think most West Virginians will say probably not.
At this point what are we going to do to free ourselves from our slavery to foreign oil? We have lots of resources in the United States. We need to be drilling in ANWR, in Alaska. We need to be drilling off the shore in the Pacific, in the Atlantic. We need to be drilling for shale oil in Colorado, in Wyoming and Utah.
We have got plenty of resources here. We need to be doing everything else, the alternative resources. I mean the natural gas, nuclear energy, the coal that we have, we need to produce it all. And we need to unshackle ourselves from that foreign energy. Senator Rockefeller has blocked energy exploration and production in the United States. And I would be a vote to reverse that.
You know the fact is that coal still generates 50 per cent of America’s electricity. And we need to be building more power plants. We need to be exporting that power across electric lines to other parts of the country.
We need to be using our coal. And we need to be using it for gasoline, if we can do it economically. So I see no reason why we should limit, I think we go after more coal production.
I think the greatest challenge for West Virginians is to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps. We have been so dependent on government handouts for so many years.
West Virginia has natural resources galore. And we need to take that and run with it at this time when America is facing an energy crisis. We need to capitalize on that, produce more energy from West Virginia.
I think I would like to represent West Virginia, West Virginia values. I think when I’m done with my term of office in Washington West Virginians would say, you know he represented our values.
Whether it be energy issues. Whether it be family issues. Gun issues. The gun rights. Senator Rockefeller has an F rating with the NRA. I have an A rating. Senator Rockefeller has voted for the worst possible abortion that there is and that’s the partial birth abortion issue. I think we need to be a kinder and gentler nation when it comes to unborn children.
Our income tax system is extremely burdensome on all Americans. And it has run business out of the country. It has sent business overseas, off shores. We need to abolish the income tax system and replace that with a very simple national retail sales tax.
And we can do that, it’s been called the fair tax. As a matter of fact if people go to fairtax.org they’d see how it works. It’s a great concept and we need to move on that issue.