The President is hard at work on your behalf in the crucial swing states of Ohio and Pennsylvania. He’s deploying his forces to let you know that there is absolutely no “war on coal” and that he’s on the side of America’s energy needs. And to prove it, he wants to inform you that he… um… he would like you to know that… OK. I don’t even know what he’s trying to say. But by golly he’s got Ted Strickland out on the stump to explain it. (Quotes after the short video from the local news team.)

Ted Strickland, along with a number of local Democratic leaders, gathered outside the new V & M Star mill in Girard Thursday afternoon to tout Barack Obama’s energy policies.The governor’s stop was part of a two-week swing through the Buckeye State, as part of the Obama campaign’s “Made in Ohio Energy Tour.”

Although the former governor claims the administration is pursuing all forms of energy production, supporters of the coal industry claim the president is doing everything he can to push them out of business.

Strickland argued that’s not true.

“In fact, the President has said just the opposite, and he followed through with resources. Five billion dollars from this administration has gone into efforts to do the research that will enable us to use coal in a way that is environmentally acceptable,” Strickland said.

Did you catch that last bit? The president has “followed through with resources” in the form of a chunk of change to essentially figure out ways to use coal without burning it. If one were really following through on such a position, rather than tossing a few bucks to yet another green initiative research project, one might consider putting a leash on the EPA before they shut down half of the coal industry.

Over in Pennsylvania, yet another potentially key state, lawmakers have had enough of the doublespeak and Tim Murphy lays it on the line.

“We have the energy resources to unleash tremendous prosperity in this land,” Murphy said, “but first and only if the federal government gets out of the way.”

Murphy argues that the EPA under President Barack Obama is not working towards making power plants cleaner, but instead making them inoperable.

Well, sure. But Murphy is a Republican. At least the Democrats are all still on Obama’s side on this one, right? Not so fast there, Skippy. It looks like Mark Critz (who replaced Jack Murtha) won’t even be attending the Democratic convention. This is known in some circles as “distancing yourself from the President.” In other circles it’s known as abandoning a sinking ship with the rats.