Coal Industry Digs Deep for Critz

Rep. Mark Critz

When Keith Rothfus went on Fox News’ online political show Thursday, he told host Chris Stirewalt that Rep. Mark Critz was anti-coal.

“I find myself in a congressional race against a guy who pretends to be supportive of the coal industry but he supports the President,” Rothfus said. “You cannot be pro-Obama and pro-coal. It’s as simple as that.”

It’s been a common refrain from the GOP this cycle; both Mitt Romney and U.S. Senate hopeful Tom Smith have aired TV ads accusing Democrats of opposing coal.

But it doesn’t appear that folks in the coal industry agree in the case of PA-12. They’ve given Critz’s campaign nearly $250,000 so far this cycle, including over $75,000 in the general election. That includes contributions from individuals and PACs affiliated with the industry or specific companies.

Rothfus has taken in around $20,000.

Critz has run against the President during his campaign, prominently declaring in several TV ads that he “had to fight President Obama’s EPA,” to keep a local coal mine open.

“I’m fighting my own party to stop overregulation of coal and natural gas,” he said.

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