Basically, Mike Carey notes that John McCain doesn’t want to bankrupt the coal industry. He appeared on Fox in order to make the case against Barack Obama, but the host makes the fair point that McCain also backs cap-and-trade, as well as a move to clean-coal technology. Carey tries to explain the differences:
The differences Carey tries to mention go to both substance and style. On the former, McCain has made clear in his Lexington Project proposal that he wants to continue using current sources of energy while we transition to cleaner processes and renewables. Coal has always been a big part of that plan, but McCain doesn’t want to put crushing fines and other cost burdens that would decrease available energy now.
In terms of style, Obama’s offhand remarks about bankrupting coal producers demonstrates a lot of hostility towards that industry. It’s a revealing moment, as Obama talks casually about killing an entire industry in order to seize the capital for his preferred projects. Obama now wants to claim that he got taken out of context and that his plans are not much different from McCain’s, but Obama seemed a lot more sanguine about bankrupting energy providers than McCain has ever sounded.
Obama did say that eliminating coal would be an “illusion”, but if he bankrupts enough of the coal producers, he could magically make that illusion a reality.