Residents react to President Obama's proposed minimum wage hike, - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Residents react to President Obama's proposed minimum wage hike, natural gas praises

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On Tuesday night President Barack Obama delivered his fifth State of the Union speech promising a year of action. On Tuesday night President Barack Obama delivered his fifth State of the Union speech promising a year of action.

On Tuesday night President Barack Obama delivered his fifth State of the Union speech promising a year of action. He spoke on a variety of topics including natural gas and the federal minimum wage.

"Say yes, give America a raise," said Obama, who pushed to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour.

It's a potential hike, which if passed by Congress, would affect Diana Thomas' local café in downtown Charleston. And while Thomas welcomes the president's proposal, she says it would force her to re-examine her business' bottom line.

"If I am paying 10-something that means I will require the other person to do more and we'll do it with two [employees] rather than three," she said.

The president also spoke about the importance of natural gas. Hours before the State of the Union speech, a new compressed natural gas fueling station in Charleston opened up.

 "We whole heartedly agree with what President Obama said," said TJ Meadows, the West Virginia state manager for IGS Energy. "We see natural gas not only as the transportation of tomorrow but quite frankly the fuel of today."

The station is IGS Energy's third compressed natural gas fueling station within West Virginia.

While natural gas is a booming industry in West Virginia because of the Marcellus Shale, coal also remains a dominant force. Senator Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, said he was disappointed the president did not mention coal.

"We've got to recognize people are going to use the products they have. Coal is the most abundant, reliable and affordable. And people will use it, you can't stop them," said Manchin.