Press Releases

Rogers speaks to Knox County Chamber of Commerce

Barbourville, KY -
U.S. Congressman Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) spoke to the Knox County Chamber of Commerce in Barbourville, Kentucky on Tuesday, April 30th on the campus of Union College. Rogers commended Dr. Marcia Hawkins on her recent inauguration as the 19th President of Union College, and becoming the first female to take the helm in the history of the institution. 

Rogers presented a legislative update during the meeting and explained how the impacts of the sequester have been turned into propaganda by the Obama Administration. Rogers cited the recent U.S. Federal Aviation Administration's reluctance to provide details about furloughs and delays to airports and airlines until three days before the sequester.

"This Administration has an imperialistic attitude, refusing to let the Congress know what each agency needs in order to prevent major setbacks," said Rogers. "If we could get the Obama Administration to come to the table to talk about the sequester, we could discuss alternatives and implement a plan that doesn't cut the good with the bad."

Rogers also criticized the Obama Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) war on coal. Our region lost 4,068 coal jobs between 2011 and 2012, and total Kentucky coal production fell 16.3% last year, the lowest level since 1965, according to a recent report by the Mountain Association of Community Economic Development (MACED). 

"We've tried to do everything possible to stop this attack on Appalachian coal," said Rogers. "We've cut the EPA's budget more than ever before on the House Appropriations Committee, but the Obama Administration has been relentless in attacking the way of life of thousands of Kentucky coal miners."

Switching gears, Rogers said one area where we are seeing significant progress in southern and eastern Kentucky is saving lives in the prescription drug abuse epidemic. 

"I applauded the U.S. Food and Drug Administration during a hearing last week, for blocking the original, crushable OxyContin from coming back to our streets," said Rogers who launched Operation UNITE and co-founded the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse. "I truly believe the FDA's decision saved us from another deadly wave of prescription drug overdoses and deaths. It's evident that your voices are being heard. Parents, communities and local leaders across the region have joined the UNITE mission to let our national leaders know that enough is enough and its time for action."

As the PRIDE Spring Cleanup Month wraps up, Rogers also commended all of the PRIDE volunteers that have dedicated time to pick up litter along our roadways, hillsides and streams during the month of April.

"You've changed the way this region looks over the years and restored the natural beauty of the mountains," Rogers lauded.

Rogers has served Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District since 1981. With a focus on economic development, job creation, fighting illegal drugs and preserving Appalachia’s natural treasures, he has a reputation for listening to his constituents and fighting for the region he represents. For more information, visit or follow Rogers on Twitter!/RepHalRogers or on Facebook!/CongressmanHalRogers.