Independent candidate Ed Rabel criticized his rivals — Democrat Nick Casey and Republican Alex Mooney — for supporting mountaintop removal mining.
Rabel is running against Casey and Mooney for Congress in West Virginia’s Second Congressional District.
“Casey and Mooney support policies that have destroyed and continue to destroy West Virginia’s beloved mountains, polluted its waters, destroyed its wildlife and sickened its people,” Rabel said.
“Hundreds of mountains have been destroyed by this destructive practice,” Rabel said. “That’s why I support a federal moratorium on mountaintop removal mining (HR 526).”
Both Mooney and Casey oppose a moratorium.
Rabel traveled on Saturday to Kayford Mountain to view firsthand the devastation that mountaintop removal has wrought.
“We’re beginning our fight right here, at the top of a West Virginia mountain,” Rabel says in a video released by his campaign. “The mountain, Kayford Mountain, like our state and its inhabitants, is fighting for its very existence.”
“Because of the failed policies of West Virginia Democrats and Republicans, this mountain, the very symbol of the mountaineer state is being destroyed.”
“If we don’t determine new and better strategies for the state of West Virginia, then as this mountain falls, so to the future of West Virginia, its citizens, children, and grandchildren.”
“Earlier this year, as if by omen, the drinking water of 300,000 citizens in the Kanawha Valley was fouled,” Rabel said.
“If we continue on this course, that is just the beginning.”
“That’s why I’m making this mountain the start of my campaign.”
“I pledge to save this mountain and every other mountain like it in the name of West Virginia, its people and our shared future.”
“So, let us look to freedom. I say today, let’s look to Rabel Mountain in Kanawha county; let freedom ring.”
“Lets look to Spruce Knob in Pendleton County — let freedom ring.”
“From every mountainside in West Virginia, let freedom ring.”
“My country tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, let freedom ring.”