David McKinley (WV-1)
Before serving in Congress, this northwestern West Virginia representative owned a construction and engineering company. As a freshman, McKinley drafted legislation that would prevent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from finalizing rules to regulate the disposal of coal ash waste. He is currently gathering support for a Congressional Resolution opposing a federal tax on carbon emissions.
District Specs: 18% poverty rate, 45.21% rural, Education level: 20.3% college, 87.8% high school
Shelley Moore Capito (WV-2)
A seventh-term representative for central West Virginia, Capito has deep roots in West Virginia politics, as her father served as the state’s governor for three terms. A co-founder of the Congressional Coal Caucus, Capito has fought on behalf of the coal industry against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and supports the practice of mountaintop removal coal mining.
District Specs: 18% poverty rate, 48.81% rural, Education level: 20.1% college, 85.5% high school
Nick Rahall (WV-03)
Rahall is a long-serving representative from southern West Virginia, and is the ranking member of the powerful Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. In the 1970s, Congressman Rahall helped draft and pass the federal Surface Mine Control and Reclamation Act. He has compared federal efforts to protect citizens from coal pollution to a “terrorist threat,” while single-handedly blocking the bipartisan Clean Water Protection Act, which he claimed would have over 400 votes in the House if he wasn’t standing in the way. Although Rahall has stated that West Virginia should support green job development due to declining coal reserves, he reverted to a hardline pro-coal stance after the coal lobby publicly questioned his allegiance and worked to defeat him in Congress.
District specs: 21% poverty rate, 59.84% rural, Education level: 15% college, 79.4% high school