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WDBJ7 sits down with George Allen

The former Va. governor is going up against Tim Kaine for U.S. Senate.

October 28, 2012|WDBJ Web Staff
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George Allen: It's going to be a tight race. It's going to be really close. Probably going to come down to about 10,000 votes like the last one did.  I see greater intensity on our side. and obviously I don't go to Democrat rallies, but we see compared to the last presidential race, compared to 2006, and so forth that there's much more enthusiasm on our side than we've seen before.
We're encouraged, but the key, the key in any election I've always said it the world's controlled by those who show up. 

Hollani: "Governor Allen let's talk more about energy. You say it's time for America to take control of its energy destiny. And you say your plan, Blueprint for America's Comeback, will not only put the U.S. on a path toward energy freedom, but it also has the potental to create two million or more jobs. Tell us more about your energy plan."

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Allen: "Well, if you think of it, the thousands of jobs in Virginia that are related to the coal industry. And it's not just the coal miners, the coal operators or the suppliers. That's a lot. But it also affects the stores, the shops, the restaurants in the area. It affects railroads. Railroad, the biggest commodity for railroads, you can ask the folks here with Norfolk Southern, the biggest commodity's coal. When Norfolk Southern, a few years ago, ordered more coal railcars, they're made right here in Roanoke, Virginia. The company hired 300 more people on for, to provide those cars, railcars. Then, we have the largest coal ports in the United States in Virginia. So, it means jobs from the coal fields to the coast. All of us use electricity. The biggest cost for a, say, data center, and there's a lot of areas trying to get data centers, the biggest cost is electricity. And the technology companies that we have many of in Virginia here and in the New River Valley and Northern Virginia, throughout Virginia, is they need perfect power. No sags, no surges. And they need it to be affordable. So, that affects that as far as coal. The same applies with natural gas. The same applies for oil production. And I mentioned earlier in the previous part, North Dakota's a prime example. Another example is shale gas, which has just been great, from hydraulic fracturing. When I was in the Senate, Dow Chemical said they weren't gonna invest in the U.S. anymore because they thought we're running out of natural gas. They're going to Germany, they got, who gets gas from Russia. This year alone, because of the increase in the supply of natural gas from shale, the Dow Chemical has announced $5.5 billion of investment in the United States because they foresee us having an affordable, reliable supply of natural gas, which is a feedstock that's so important for chemicals, fertilizers, plastics, tires and so forth. So, that's how energy helps create jobs in our country. And on top of it all, food costs are affected by it. Our restaurants, if you have high fuel costs, they have to pay fuel surcharges and a lot of restaurants have shut down because of the high cost of gasoline, that people don't go out to eat as much. And plus, the food prices go up as well. So, energy's our economy."

Hollani: "I do wanna get to some of our viewer questions. Governor Allen, our viewers are also emailing their questions. Alan Thomas of Roanoke has this question for you: 'Will you pledge to oppose reductions of present Social Security and Medicare benefits for those over 55?'"

Allen: "Yes, I think so. I will oppose. I wanna make sure I get it right. Yes, I would oppose any reductions for those who are on Social Security or Medicare. And, in fact, any proposals that would change Medicare or Social Security should apply to those who are under age 50. Some of the changes to make sure it's solvent, Social Security and Medicare in the future, to make sure they'e solvent is a gradual increase in the age of eligibility. People are leading longer, living longer, healthier lives, and so there can be a gradual increase. I also think there can be an income adjustment. Folks that are millionaires don't want, don't need those benefits. And so that would be another way of helping with it. On Social Security, one of the best things we can do to make sure Social Security is solvent is have a strong economy. The most recent revision of Social Security is supposedly becoming unsolvent or less solvent. They moved it three years closer and the reason was because of a bad economy. Now, if people are working, they're paying into Social Security. And so, that's another example of why it's very important for people to be able to work, not only for their own lives, but it also helps the Social Security system."
Hollani: "A big topic this election season is sequestration, across the board federal cuts triggered when Congress failed to produce a budget plan. If you are elected how would you avoid the one-trillion-dollars in automatic cuts that are scheduled to begin in January unless a deal is made?"

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