James Robinette (D)
Education: St. Albans High School; Local 625 Apprenticeship Program.
Occupation: Union pipefitter
Q: What would you do to ensure that West Virginia protects communities from adverse environmental and public health impacts of the rising natural gas industry?
A: We need updated water treatment facilities. If an organization disturbs a community’s water tables, then they should be 100 percent liable for upgrading the public water system to maintain healthy standards for the citizens in that area. Many West Virginians depend on well water and legislation should support keeping those resources as pristine as possible.
Q: What legislation would you push to diversify West Virginia’s economy?
A: Investing in solar and wind farms, which can alleviate our reliance of non-renewable resources. Construction of natural gas power houses to supply cheaper electricity. Jobs through industrial manufacturing of our natural gas. Cannabis has replaced corn as America’s “largest cash crop.” We need real reform for these ideas to take root for West Virginia.
Q: How should West Virginia fund PEIA?
A: I believe that increasing our severance tax on our natural resources will more than carry the burden of PEIA. I’m also for raising corporate income taxes.
Daily Mail Opinion
Q: Do you support the current practice of “civil asset forfeiture,” whereby state law enforcement can seize property from citizens even if they are never charged with a crime?
Q: Should West Virginia join the 43 other states that allow students to attend public charter schools?
A: No. I think our money would be better invested in our current public school system. If we invest more money in our teachers we could retain them.
Q: Should the severance tax on natural gas (currently at 5 percent) be raised, lowered, or kept the same?
A: I think it should be raised, but at the same time not price us out of the market.