Last week, in honor of the National Day of Prayer, our nation once again took a moment to reflect on the many blessings God has bestowed on us. “A rising nation, spread over a wide and fruitful land, traversing all the seas with the rich productions of their industry,” said Thomas Jefferson in his first inaugural address. He went on to say, “…with all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow-citizens—a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government…”
With seemingly endless red tape squeezing the men and women trying to run businesses in the Ninth District and across the country, I spent last week with dozens of private business and community leaders talking about our nation’s energy policy. I wanted to hear their thoughts about the effects that federal regulations and permit requirements are having on their businesses. I wanted to share with them some of the things I’ve been working on in Congress. And, I wanted to brainstorm with them about new ways to make doing business in America easier.
As you know, the Ninth District’s energy equals jobs. In addition to the jobs tied directly to coal and natural gas, the jobs at local businesses like the car dealerships, restaurants, and stores energy workers shop in are connected to energy. Businesses like Eastman Chemical Co., which, with its acquisition of Solutia Inc. in Martinsville, employs more than one thousand Virginians; Joy Mining Machinery, which has three manufacturing sites in the Ninth; and the furniture businesses in Galax, Montgomery Co., and elsewhere are also obviously heavily attached to our energy sector for abundant, affordable energy.
The goose that laid the golden egg for the Ninth District is energy, energy production, and affordable energy for manufacturers. Sadly, this economic sector is quickly being snuffed out. The crushing rules, permits, and regulations of the EPA, MSHA, and other Washington agencies are driving jobs out of the Ninth District. This must change.
It is my hope that America can one day return to the vision that Thomas Jefferson had of a wise and frugal Government. It is my hope that we can once again adopt policies that allow America to unleash the energy potential of its rich, God-given resources. And, it’s my hope that all will finally see that government must stop taking from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.
– Congressman Morgan Griffith