Maloney, the Republican candidate for governor of West Virginia, told members of the Madison Rotary Club last week that he learned a lot from his experience in the rescue of the trapped miners in Chile.
“Tools, equipment and the right people need to be ready and in place when it comes to mine safety and rescue,” he said. “We cannot continue to rely on Devine Intervention.”
Maloney attended the meeting with his wife Sharon.
“We moved to Teays Valley in 1981,” he said. “I drilled de-watering holes for mines. I also came up with new way to ventilate coal mines. I have grown up in the industry.”
When the mine in Chile collapsed trapping 33 miners, Maloney called a friend working the country to see if he could do anything to help.
Maloney and his group used the right tools, equipment and ideas to drill down to the miners and rescue them with a new rescue capsule that brought each miner up to the surface and to safety.
“It was very exciting to see the happy faces of the miners and their families,” he said.
Maloney has set up a fund at www.fundyourpassion.org/minerescue to help with mine safety and rescue efforts.
“We need to have the proper rescue capsules, like the one we used and developed in Chile,” he said.
West Virginia has had 130 mine fatalities in the past 10 years out of 647 nationwide.
“We need to be preventing these things,” he said.
Maloney was the 2011 Republican nominee for governor of West Virginia and lost a close race to Democrat candidate and current governor Earl Ray Tomblin.
Maloney says he isn’t a career politician, and he will bring real-world experience and a fresh approach to Charleston.
“I believe in lower taxes, smaller government and more opportunity,” he said in an interview with the Coal Valley News following the Rotary Club meeting.
Maloney recently applauded bi-partisan action to clean up politics in southern West Virginia.
“Some things in life you just have to see for yourself,” he said regarding the recent election indictments in neighboring Lincoln County. “One of the things I have learned over the last year is that politics in West Virginia needs to be cleaned up.”
Maloney is calling for stronger ethics laws to put and end to crooked elections and corrupt politics in the state, just as he did during last year’s campaign.
“It is encouraging that there are several bills moving through the Legislature from members of both parties that will start to address this important issue,” he said.
Maloney says faith must be restored in West Virginia’s election process, especially in southern West Virginia.
“As governor, I will help to continue to clean up politics in West Virginia and ensure that the voice of the people is heard, not just lobbyists, special interest and old-time political bosses.”
Maloney and his wife live in Morgantown and attend Chestnut Ridge Church. They have two grown daughters, with a grandchild on the way.
Boone County Republican candidate for state House of Delegates District 23 Joshua Nelson also attended the event.
“I want to pass laws that save West Virginia coal and create new jobs,” Nelson said.