Congressman Whitfield Talks To Franklin Industry Leaders

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FRANKLIN, Ky. (WBKO) -- In recent months, Congressman Ed Whitfield has made headlines for ethics complaints, along with accusations that he denies climate change.

The ethics complaint against Congressman Whitfield centers around property he and his wife bought in West Virginia more than a decade ago. The complaint accuses that a lobbyist from Washington helped in the purchase. A house committee is reviewing the allegations he says are purely political.

"It all revolves around legislation that I introduced to stop the soring of Tennessee walking horses," said Kentucky 1st District Representative Whitfield.

He says that legislation has hundreds of sponsors on Capitol Hill, but not as many fans in Tennessee. The representative claims that the current ethics violation investigation against him, is a strategic move by a group in Shelbyville, Tennessee to slow progress on the bill.

"The allegation they've made is, I let my wife dictate to me, legislation that I would introduce. I've been working on this issue for six or seven years."

Whitfield has also made headlines after being dubbed a climate change denier by a natural resources council. The Congressman said U.S. air is very clean, and the proof lies in the numbers.

"4/10ths of 1 percent (of our atmosphere) is CO2. 4/10ths of that 4/10ths is man made. The whole climate change argument is about that. This President is using it as a political issue."

Speaking of environmental issues, it's what much of the discussion was about during Whitfield's trip to Franklin on Tuesday. Plant managers of local factories expressed concern during a question and answer session over rising electricity prices, that go along with strict new regulations on coal.

"Kentucky's one of the state's that's really going to be hit hard because we're one of the few states where the vast majority of our electricity comes from coal. It's going to have a negative impact."

Aside from talking to business leaders in Franklin, local representatives from the National Alliance on Mental Health presented Congressman Whitfield with "The Legislator of the Year Award" Tuesday afternoon.

The group said the honor was awarded for Whitfield's work on House Bill 3717.

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