Mooney tours Corhart Refractories

BUCKHANNON – U.S. Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., says he learns something new every time he tours a business.

On Tuesday, he said he was impressed by the research and development at Corhart Refractories in Buckhannon, part of the Saint-Gobain Corporation, as well as the the world-wide market the company services.

Corhart is the world’s leading manufacturer of specialty refractories for reinforcement and insulation fiberglass, specialty glass and container glass, General Manager Jay Martin said.

With a worldwide customer scope, Corhart specializes in isostatically pressed chromic oxide and zircon.

The products manufactured at Corhart are used in everything from touch screens to structural applications and damage-resistant glass.

“We provide a huge amount of materials for people across the world from a site right here in Buckhannon,” Martin said.

Corhart was created in 1960 and became part of Saint-Gobain SEFPRO in 1987. Saint-Gobain is a multi-cultural, international and multi-industry company.

Mooney said he was impressed by the diversity of the company’s products and processes.

“It’s fantastic to see the niche they’re filling in the world. I’m proud to have them here in Buckhannon,” he said.

Mooney said he considers it part of his job to learn as much as he can about the businesses located in the state he represents.

“Every time I take a tour, I pick up ideas on how the federal government can be helpful, or at least not harmful, to businesses,” he said.

As an example, Mooney discussed a bill he co-sponsored that provides tax credits for businesses which conduct research and development. He urged Corhart officials to find out whether or not they could benefit from the tax credit.

While in Buckhannon, Mooney also discussed his position on several key issues facing Congress, including the Trans Pacific Partnership and President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan.

Mooney said he did not vote in favor of the Trade Promotion Authority, which passed anyway, giving the president fast-track authority to negotiate trade agreements sent to Congress without the opportunity for amendment or filibuster.

“I never bought into the idea that Congress should delegate that authority to the president. I think past trade deals have been harmful to West Virginia. I heard loud and clear from my constituents on this one,” he said.

Additionally, Mooney said the Clean Power Plan is part of the Obama administration’s “War on Coal.”

“President Obama clearly discriminates against coal in trade,” he said.

Mooney believes the government should not pick winners and losers when it comes to the free market, including choosing between renewable energy and natural resources.

“Let the free market determine that. The government shouldn’t pick the winners and losers,” he said. “What I object to is the government interfering in the market.”