The Times West Virginian

Local News

January 19, 2014

Caputo is Energy Committee vice-chairman

‘It’s such a huge part of our economic engine here in West Virginia,’ delegate says

FAIRMONT — Delegate and Majority Whip Mike Caputo, D-Marion, has been selected to vice chair the new House of Delegates Energy Committee.

The committee was proposed by Speaker of the House Tim Miley, D-Harrison.

Caputo said that Miley’s decision to make a committee focused solely on energy makes sense, given how much of West Virginia’s economy has been based on energy industry.

“It’s such a huge part of our economic engine here in West Virginia,” Caputo said.

Before this session, energy hadn’t had its own House committee, instead being addressed as a part of larger committees.

“One time it was energy, industry, labor and small business, all in one committee,” Caputo said. “The speaker wanted to change that.”

After the House of Delegates passed a resolution to start the committee, Miley appointed the chair, vice-chair, minority chair, minority vice-chair and the committee’s 20 other members.

Caputo said he’s pleased to have been chosen for the position.

Caputo has almost 38 years of experience in the coal industry, first as a coal miner for the Federal No. 2 Mine for 20 years, then working for 18 years for the United Mine Workers of America, and he is now the UMW international vice president.

“I have been around this part of the energy sector for well over half of my life,” Caputo said. “It was shortly after high school that I became a coal miner, and it’s all I’ve ever known, so I have a deep interest in mining.

“I want to make sure that coal mining remains vibrant in West Virginia because, quite frankly, they’re good-paying jobs with benefits.”

Caputo said that this experience will help with his work in the committee.

“I think my background will certainly be a respected part of the committee,” Caputo said. “I’m looked at by my colleagues as someone who understands the worker issues in the coal industry very well, and the industry very well.”

The committee will discuss and debate any energy bills proposed during the legislative session. They will also hold meetings with energy producers and workers, to see what issues matter to them most.

“We’re going to be getting advice from those who work in this field every day, and then the committee will at that point in time decide which direction we would like to head in,” Caputo said. “I think it’s going to be a good experience and open a lot of eyes, and hopefully we’ll do some good things.”

There are two issues Caputo thinks will be important to the committee.

“First we’ll be dealing with workplace safety issues,” Caputo said. “We want to make sure that everyone who works in this industry first and foremost has a safe place to work and has an absolute expectation to go home at the end of their shift without injury or worse.”

Caputo said the committee would also work with the industry to see what obstacles it faces.

“We’re going to be hearing form the industry folks, and see what they feel is holding them back,” Caputo said. “The theory is to try to keep the energy sector here in West Virginia as vibrant as possible.”

Caputo said that he believes the energy industry is vital to West Virginia’s economy.

“I know firsthand that if we’re not mining coal or producing gas, then West Virginians aren’t going to have these good jobs,” Caputo said.

“I’m going to do the very best I can to hopefully make this committee find some ways to keep people working in West Virginia.”

The 24-member committee also includes Marion County’s Delegate Linda Longstreth.

Email Colleen S. Good at or follow her on Twitter @CSGoodTWV.

Text Only
Local News
  • 041814 Fishing 2.jpg Fun, prizes mark annual event at Curtisville Lake

    An annual family fishing event begins at 9:30 a.m. today.
    The Marion County Parks and Recreation Commission and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources are having the annual Family Fishing Day. The event will take place today at Curtisville Lake, with registration beginning at 9:30 a.m. and prizes being given away at 10:30 a.m.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police: Shooting of boy accidental

    A boy remains in critical condition after being shot more than a week ago, and police officials are now saying the incident was accidental in nature.
    On Wednesday, April 9, at 7:52 p.m., police were dispatched to a Fairmont residence after an 11-year-old boy sustained a gunshot wound inside the home.

    April 18, 2014

  • FGH oncology to benefit from cleanup

    Proceeds from this year’s town cleanup and recycling in White Hall will go toward comforting local cancer patients.
    During Monday’s council meeting, recorder Charlie Mason said the town will hold its annual cleanup from 7 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 3, at Fabric and Foam in White Hall. He said only White Hall residents may bring their garbage to throw away, but any Marion County resident may bring metal (excluding computers, televisions and tires) to recycle.

    April 18, 2014

  • Pleasant Valley approves phase two of cemetery project

    Pleasant Valley City Council approved phase two of a project to fence in Samuel Linn Cemetery in Benton’s Ferry at the council meeting Tuesday.
    The cemetery was started in 1852, with the death of Samuel Linn.

    April 18, 2014

  • UPDATE: Police say 11-year-old shot in 'accidental discharge of a firearm'

    A boy remains in critical condition after being shot more than a week ago, and police officials are now saying the incident was accidental in nature.

    April 17, 2014

  • Attorney General - CB.jpg Morrisey wants to work with all to ‘help transform West Virginia’

    State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey wants to work with citizens to “help transform West Virginia.”
    Morrisey was the guest speaker for the Marion County Chamber of Commerce’s “Lunch and Learn” event Wednesday at the Mon Power headquarters, located in the I-79 Technology Park in Fairmont. His trip to the Friendly City followed a town hall meeting in Harrison County Tuesday night.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Behind-the-scenes emergency workers honored

    The Marion County Commission is recognizing the individuals who work behind the scenes when an emergency happens.
    During Wednesday’s meeting, commissioners signed a proclamation for National Public Safety Tele-Communicator’s Week in Marion County. The proclamation recognizes individuals working at the Marion County 911 Center.

    April 17, 2014

  • Wallace residents plead guilty to fishing violations

    Two Wallace residents were cited for and pleaded guilty to trout fishing violations.
    Michael Earl Fetty, 70, and Tammy K. Fetty, 46, were issued citations for exceeding possession limit of trout and conspiracy to violate Chapter 20 of the West Virginia State Code.

    April 17, 2014

  • Military Kids 1 - CB.jpg Military children honored for their sacrifices: PHOTOS

    Military children were honored for their sacrifices Tuesday at the Hershel “Woody” Williams Fairmont Armed Forces Reserve Center.
    The event was planned to coincide with Purple Up! Day, a nationwide initiative that encourages everyone to wear purple in honor of military children across the country.

    April 16, 2014 4 Photos

  • Child health: ‘Room for improvement’

    Children living in Marion County are doing better in some respects than children in other counties in the state, according to a national study released Tuesday.
    “The 2013 West Virginia Kids Count Data Book,” published by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, compares states and their counties to each other and to the national average of various areas of child health.

    April 16, 2014

Featured Ads
TWV Video Highlights
NDN Editor's Picks
House Ads