McKinley Visits Tyler Officials
West Virginia House of Representative David McKinley was in Middlebourne Thursday to meet with several of the elected officials of Tyler County. When interviewing McKinley, he proposed some ideas about bringing jobs back to the area, how to improve cell phone service, and relayed his views on the opioid epidemic.
Congressman McKinley explained that he has a district week where he meets every three weeks. He went to 305 meetings last year alone because he feels that he is still searching for answers to many of the everyday problems that West Virginia is facing and the way to do that is through meeting and listening with elected officials and other members of the community. He also explained that he covers 20 counties and he tries to have meeting with a variety of groups to get different perspectives on today’s issues.
Some of the matters being address are the railroad crossings blocking traffic, the search for good cellular service, the opioid epidemic, global warming, and Ethane gas storage. McKinley feels very strongly that Ethane storage is a great opportunity for West Virginia. He feels that we can use our engineers do find a way to store Ethane gas in West Virginia and use it in our state. McKinley feels that by doing so it will cause businesses to move into the area for access of resources. McKinley stated that the Senate seems interested and he hopes that the bill will pass. It will be a network of pipes extending from PA all along the Ohio River, down to Kentucky and spur off on the Kanawha River. That spur is where Congressman McKinley feels will be a good location for Ethane storage facility. McKinley stated, “Imagine a pipe rack, a T shaped kinda rack, with maybe 5 or 6 pipes on top of it. This one is Butane, this one is Propane, this Ethylene, this is Ethane.” He continued, ” these are all things coming from our current crackers that have been separated out, give access to people so that if you want to build a chemical plant, all your raw materials are already there.”
The second component is to find abandoned salt wells to store these gases in. McKinley mentioned that for some reason the chemical composition of salt allows for storage than say an old coal mine which the gases would leak out. He feels that this will attract the attention of businesses. Not to mention, it could act as a secondary storage for gas and petroleum that is away from the Gulf Coast area.
When asked about more local resident working in the area on some of these gas projects McKinley explained that in the beginning outside sources were contacted because their engineers have had the experience and knew what to do. He said that they are still in the area and are training our residents and in a few years there should be less out of state workers, and more in state workers.
McKinley offered some advise about the current opioid problem. He stated that there were two books, “American Pain” and “Dreamland”, which discuss the chronology of the opioid coming out of south Florida and working its way north. He mentioned that, ” There were more pills that came out of one clinic in West Virginia than nine times all the pain medicine issued in the state of Ohio, they did it legally.” McKinley explained that they would hand out 120 day prescriptions knowing that these patients were selling them on the streets. When they would run out, they would get another 120 day supply at another clinic. There was so much money being tossed around through prescriptions that even some of the clerks would get involved and start writing prescriptions.
McKinley feels that we need to cut down on the supply rate which may also cut down our overdose rate. He would like to see the supply amounts decreased as well as finding alternatives to opioids for pain relief. He also feels that we need to better educate the youth about opioid addiction. The notion of a national data base was mentioned as a way to keep real time records that would be open to all states to prevent cross state prescriptions being filled, unfortunately senate feels that this could be a HIPPA violation. McKinley added, ” There is no clear answer and it touches everyone’s lives.”
Congressman McKinley mentioned that the Hundred area will need help in light of the recent flood activity. He said the high school is in need of strong backs and anyone interested in helping can call 304-775-5221.