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U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins speaks on Paris climate accord


The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING, W.Va.  — U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins says President Trump’s expected action to withdraw America from the Paris climate accord “is the right step” for the country.

U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va.

Jenkins, R-W.Va., made stops in Wheeling this week, focusing largely on issues pertaining to health care and babies born into drug addiction. He has announced he will seek the U.S. Senate seat occupied by Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., in 2018.

On Wednesday, Jenkins paused to address Trump’s expected move to pull America out of the Paris accord. The European Union and 192 countries have signed the agreement, which seeks to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions beginning in 2020.

West Virginia’s fossil fuel industries oppose the agreement.

“The Paris accord was clearly just another step in the war on fossil fuels by the Obama administration — coal in particular,” Jenkins said. “The administration did so much damage in so many areas that have devastated jobs in West Virginia.”

He said he found it particularly frustrating to see the U.S. government pledge financial support to developing nations, then see them give those countries breaks from the agreement “all at the expense of the American taxpayer and to advance Obama’s agenda.”

“The accord was a devastating step to our economy and sent the wrong message,” Jenkins said. “I think the anticipated announcement from the Trump administration that America is withdrawing from the Paris Accord is the right step.”

West Virginia especially was hurt by the climate change agreement, according to Jenkins.

“We need to get the policy to create job growth,” he said. “My mantra is a good job solves a lot of crises. Let’s get people back to work. Let’s create a sense of opportunity in a person’s life. … Let’s get people working again.”

Evans arrived in Wheeling Tuesday evening and visited with officials at Wheeling Hospital. On Wednesday morning, he attended the West Virginia Opioid and Substance Abuse Seminar on the Wheeling Jesuit University campus.

He said the topic of babies being born addicted to drugs is of special interest to him, and that it is happening too often in West Virginia.

In 2015, Jenkins was involved in the establishment of Lily’s Place in Huntington — a neonatal abstinence syndrome center. The facility has helped more than 180 newborn infants through the painful withdrawal from drug addiction.

Jenkins pushed for legislation in the U.S. House last year to establish similar facilities throughout the nation, and Wheeling Hospital is presently constructing a neonatal therapy unit that will be open later this year.

“I really applaud and appreciate the work Wheeling Hospital is doing to care for our most precious newborns,” he said.

Jenkins, a Huntington resident, represents West Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District.

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