WV US Senate candidates debate at Chamber of Commerce Business S - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

WV US Senate candidates debate at Chamber of Commerce Business Summit forum

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U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Secretary of State Natalie Tennant discussed several issues West Virginians face during an Aug. 28 debate at The Greenbrier as part of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce's Annual Meeting and Business Summit.

The discussion between the pair ranged from coal to natural gas, as well as education and what can be done to make the state's business climate competitive with the rest of the country and the world.

The race for U.S. Senate also includes Mountain Party candidate Bob Henry Baber, Libertarian John S. Buckley and Constitution Party candidate Phil Hudok, none of whom were asked to participate in the debate.

“We also need a strong infrastructure program,” Capito said during her speech. “It will also help you all grow your businesses.”

Tennant said after the debate she would focus on small businesses and energy, but there are huge differences in her plans, should she win the election, when it comes to helping women by voting for equal pay.

Tennant also discussed her plan to challenge President Barack Obama to invest directly in building or retrofitting coal-fired power plants across the country with advanced coal technology.

“There is $8 billion in the department of energy's budget that is allocated for loan guarantees for companies to take those loans and advance in new coal technologies,” she said. “Instead of making it a loan, let's directly invest in this technology that will grow our economy from West Virginia to make coal even more competitive.”

Tennant said there are a lot of differences between her and her opponent, Capito.

“I have cut late fees in half for our businesses,” Tenant said. “While she has voted for Wall Street. It means the costs are higher for consumers and businesses because they are the ones who have to pay it.

“I will vote for equal pay for equal work.”

Capito addressed concerns about the importance of making tough decisions in health care.

“What I want is us to reform these programs so they'll be there for the future generations,” Capito said. “I see how important Medicare is to West Virginia seniors every day. The tough choices have to be made now, we cannot do it with one party doing it.”