Lawmakers attempt to create bipartisan energy plan - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Lawmakers attempt to create bipartisan energy plan

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One West Virginia representative is teaming up with another lawmaker to establish a better energy plan for the country.

Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., and Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Co., introduced a bipartisan piece of legislation Thursday to establish a commission to develop a comprehensive energy police for the United States.

"You would never start construction without blueprints," McKinley said. "In the same way, America should have a blueprint when it comes to our energy policy."

"This country has gone too long without a comprehensive energy plan."

McKinley said Americans should have access to reliable, affordable energy and it's too important for the economy and creating jobs here in the states.

The commission would assemble a diverse group of leaders in fossil fuels and renewable energies, utilities, energy researchers, environmentalists, labor organizations and economists to come up with the nation's first comprehensive energy policy.

DeGette said the nation faces a "critical need" for a plan like this one.

"Energy development plays a fundamental role in our economic strength, driving job creation and innovations, and will help ensure our continued global leadership," she said. "This commission represents a great opportunity for stakeholders and experts from across the political spectrum to come together and develop a plan that charts our nation's energy course for the next several decades."

McKinley said because it is important to work across party lines to create energy policies, he and the Colorado representative "found common ground in helping America achieve energy independence."

"Even in the midst of so much gridlock in Washington, this bill demonstrates that we can come together across the aisle to find common ground to meet our nation's energy goals," DeGette said.

"That is even more critical because energy independence is also a national security issues," McKinley added.