WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — A former governor of Utah believes West Virginia will survive and thrive in a challenging economy. Jon Huntsman spoke Thursday at the annual West Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s Business Summit at the Greenbrier Resort.

Huntsman said he believes the state’s leaders are poised to improve the economic environment with coal and other products.

File photo

Jon Huntsman

“And with that will come more innovation,” the former two-term governor predicted. “Anyone who relies on one product forever without thinking about doing things differently and in new ways, developing new technologies or new modalities, is sellingĀ themselves short. No state can afford to do one thing all the time.”

Huntsman said West Virginia must have a “nimble” environment that speaks to innovation, creation and entrepreneurship.

But he added coal and West Virginia’s other energy resources still have a large role to play in the nation’s economy.

“No other country has what we have and the ability to turn it into productive economic growth, create jobs and bolstering our people,” he said.

Huntsman championed major state tax reform while in the governor’s office in Utah. He said West Virginia has done some tax reform but more would help.

“I don’t think there’s anything more important or fundamentally needed than tax reform,” he said.

Huntsman is co-chairing the “No Labels” group with U.S. Senator Joe Manchin. It’s an effort to deal with issues without party politics. The caucus has grown to 83 members.

“In order to make energy work, or the budget work or tax reform or anything else for that matter, you’ve got to have a Congress that functions properly,” Huntsman said.

The Chamber’s business meeting stretches through Friday.


bubble graphic


bubble graphic


  • Larry

    As long as WV is controlled by the same corrupt career politician dems that is has been for the last 8 decades, you can forget about growth.

    • scott

      Larry, the whole "growth" issue is due to the legal environment in WV. We have as much natural gas reserves as any state or most countries, yet the companies refuse to put offices in this state due to insurance/comp/litigation issues that seem to crop up when "big" business is in WV. And unfortunately, the nat gas industry is our chance to grow.

      • liberty4all

        So the oil and gas companies building along I79 in Bridgeport are maverick's? (Antero Resources, Percheron, PDC Energy).

        Don't believe the hype. Topography and a lack of an educated workforce is the biggest anchor on businesses coming here.

        Privatization of workers comp has been a boon to businesses. As far as litigation, if you are referring to the fact that the vast majority of civil cases in our court system involve one business suing another, than maybe you have a point. Businesses should stop clogging up our court system and their damages should be limited and or certain ones should be given immunity from responsibility. They should also stop their frivolous lawsuits and their frivolous defenses. Oh wait a minute, you probably aren't referring to that problem with our legal system. Why do I suspect you have swallowed the Chamber message hook, line and sinker and would like to abrogate the 7th Amendment.

        I welcome any business to WV. However if you are not willing to be held responsible when your conduct hurts someone, then I would gladly wish you well in locating to another state. If companies/people are not held responsible, the burden will fall to us tax payers and we will have ignored all that we learned as children regarding the importance of taking responsibility for our actions and the consequences they cause.

        • EPMountaineer

          Hear! Hear!

  • MT

    Huntsman and Chris Christie in 2016, enough of the trea party ding dongs. Lets get something done for a change!!

    • Wowbagger


      A looser and a fat fool. Both RINOs! Ideal way to loose yet another election.

      Are you a Hildabeast suporter?

      • Larry

        Do you mean a "loser", "looser" means less tight.

      • Bob4683

        To win a general election you have to win the center and the undeclared vote. Your TP loons have no chance of doing that. Obama's campaign manager said they were relieved when Huntsman dropped out of the race because he was the most electable. You have it backwards, bagger.

      • liberty4all

        Way to keep the debate civil. Like them or not, both Huntsman and Christie are intelligent and successful, both politically and professionally.

        You must have accomplished a tremendous amount in your life to consider these two a loser and a fool.

        • RogerD

          Speaking of civil, your "man" Christies takes the cake. He walks the boardwalk looking for a fight and then when he gets one, his bodyguards step in. Then there was the screaming at people to "get the hell off the beach". The man is a picture of civility. ;)

          • liberty4all

            He's not my "man", simply pointing out he is neither a fool nor a loser.

  • RogerD

    Wowbagger is correct! Huntsman's days have come and gone. The "no labels" ploy tries to show they aren't political but fails when you look at the details.

    I do agree that Manchin and Huntsman belong in the same group,........ retired politicians.

  • Wowbagger

    RINO Huntsman should keep on preaching to the choir and keep out of politics. Winning Utah is easy for a good LDS, but he has already proved he has NO place in national politics!

    I'm not knocking Mormons as I have several relatives and friends who are LDS. I am just saying they are still a large voting block in Utah.

    • liberty4all

      While I did not support Huntsman, I believe his conservative credentials stacked up against the other candidates. Several groups who "score" such things agree. To call him a RINO is unfair. That label gets thrown around too often against anyone who dares question the party.

  • Alum

    He would have to effectively address the personal wealth issue, which Romney failed miserably at doing, before doing much else. And he needs to do it in such a manner that it would be moot to bring it up again.

  • Guardian

    Huntsman is a good man, no question. Good candidate too. However, if he would be the nominee, he'd be crucified like Romney was. Romney had a proven track record in MA of working across the aisle, yet when the media and the democrats got done with him, they made him look like Rush.

    • Bob4683

      Huntsman could prevail in a general election. For starters he wouldn't make gaffes about "binders of women" and "47%" which helped sink Romney. He knows the international scene better than Romney does. Better than any recent candidate, in fact.

      It's the primaries he has a problem with because the GOP has too many far-right nuts.

  • Bob4683

    Sure would like to see Huntsman make another go of it in 2016. He represents everything the GOP is missing right now - terrific Presidential credentials and an ability to work across the aisle like he is doing with Sen. Manchin as the No Labels co-chairs.

    • wvrefugee

      Everything the GOP is missing????????? How about character and truth first??