American Crossroads, the Super PAC founded by Karl Rove, recently launched a radio advertisement entitled “Cecil Roberts” that will air in western Pennsylvania and other states. It blasts President Barack Obama’s “War on Coal.”
The group maintains that President Obama is attempting to put an end to the coal industry. The ad’s title comes from United Mine Workers President Cecil Roberts’ pessimistic critique of the Obama administration, from an interview that he had originally given to a West Virginia radio station, one that wasn’t too fond of Obama’s record on coal.
“The Navy SEALs shot Osama bin Laden in Pakistan and [Environmental Protection Agency Administrator] Lisa Jackson shot us in Washington…” Roberts said. “People would lose their health care that they have, and it’s the best health care in the world, if the coal industry collapses, and people’s pensions would be cut drastically.”
You can listen to the full ad in the embedded video below.
Nate Hodson, the American Crossroads director of state and regional media relations said, “when the top leader of the United Mine Workers says President Obama’s war on coal will destroy the way of life for countless Pennsylvania families, you know it is time for a change in the White House.”
The Democratic National Committee said the $170,000 radio ad an example of a false accusation on President Obama’s coal record, in order to shift attention away from Governor Mitt Romney’s allegedly destructive environmental record.
“This is yet another issue where Mitt Romney changed his position from the one he claims now. When he first became governor, Romney was outspoken in his criticism of coal-fired power plants, saying that they kill people and he would ‘always come down on the side of public health,’” the DNC wrote in a response memo.
The administration argues that President Obama has invested billions of dollars in an attempt to develop clean coal; the Recovery Act, which made $3.4 billion dollars available to funding for Carbon Capture and Storage Demonstration projects (CCS).
They also say that President Obama implemented an interagency task force on CCS which distributed ideas about overcoming obstacles to the widespread, cost-effective deployment of CCS within the next 10 years.
During 2011, employment in the coal mining industry in Appalachia reached a fourteen year high.