Maybe the American people just didn’t have quite enough time to get to know Barack Obama. It seems inconceivable to me that a candidate as arrogant as Obama could be ahead in the polls if the voters had fully absorbed how out of touch he can be. A case in point is this MTV interview, where Obama says that the tax increase he proposes on people who earn $250,000 or more is “chump change, that’s nothing.” But wait! If it’s “chump change,” how is it going to fund the hundreds of billions in new spending that Obama wants?
Likewise with Obama’s casual declaration that he intends to bankrupt the coal industry, which currently supplies around one-half of all electricity produced in the United States. Today Mike Carey, President of the Ohio Coal Association, issued this statement:
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.
Where will the “little people” get electricity if Obama’s environmental policies destroy the coal industry? That, apparently, is of no concern to “The One.” It would have been nice if this news had come out more than a couple of days before the election.
UPDATE: After writing this post, I talked to Mike Carey on the telephone. He was very cordial, but deeply concerned about the future of his industry. Here is some of what he told me:
We originally were pretty neutral in this race, as neither candidate had been a strong supporter of coal. But after we saw Joe Biden’s comments [no new coal plants in the U.S.], we tried to get information on clean coal to both campaigns.
Some people in the Obama campaign weren’t very nice to the clean coal people who tried to talk to them.
The mainstream media haven’t done their job. This is stuff that should have been found out a long time ago.
Nationally, 52% of all electricity comes from coal. In Ohio it’s 89%, in West Virginia, 97%. Virginia and Pennsylvania get a lot of their electricity from coal as well. Here in Ohio, a lot of industries have left the state, but one that is growing is coal, which directly provides for around 4,000 jobs. I think it is remarkable that any political candidate would talk about bankrupting an industry that supplies more than one-half of the country’s electricity.
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