After quotes from both Barack Obama and Joe Biden on coal have arisen over the last couple of weeks, the Ohio Coal Association has become just a wee bit concerned about the direction an Obama administration would take regarding energy. The president of the OCA released a statement today calling the Democratic ticket “extraordinarily misguided”:
Mike Carey, president of the Ohio Coal Association (OCA), today issued the following statement in response to just-released remarks from Senator Barack Obama about the nation’s coal industry.
“Regardless of the timing or method of the release of these remarks, the message from the Democratic candidate for President could not be clearer: the Obama-Biden ticket spells disaster for America’s coal industry and the tens of thousands of Americans who work in it.
“These undisputed, audio-taped remarks, which include comments from Senator Obama like ‘I haven’t been some coal booster’ and ‘if they want to build [coal plants], they can, but it will bankrupt them’ are extraordinarily misguided.
“It’s evident that this campaign has been pandering in states like Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, Indiana and Pennsylvania to attempt to generate votes from coal supporters, while keeping his true agenda hidden from the state’s voters.
“Senator Obama has revealed himself to be nothing more than a short- sighted, inexperienced politician willing to say anything to get a vote. But today, the nation’s coal industry and those who support it have a better understanding of his true mission, to ‘bankrupt’ our industry, put tens of thousands out of work and cause unprecedented increases in electricity prices.
“In addition to providing an affordable, reliable source of low-cost electricity, domestic coal holds the key to our nation’s long-term energy security – a goal that cannot be overlooked during this time of international instability and economic uncertainty.
“Few policy areas are more important to our economic future than energy issues. As voters head to the polls tomorrow, it is essential they remember that access to reliable, affordable, domestic energy supplies is essential to economic growth and stability.”
How big will the coal remarks be? Let’s not forget Biden’s comments from six weeks ago:
“We’re not supporting clean coal.”
“No coal plants here in America. Build them if they’re going to build them over there. Make them clean.”
At the time, the Obama campaign swore that Biden had been taken out of context. Now it looks like Biden had the context exactly correct. An Obama administration would be very hostile to coal, and its policies would kill jobs in the coal-producing regions of the US, including the critical states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and others. If the Republicans can get this message out over the next 12 hours, they may be able to make a difference in Coal Country.