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GOP Drills Obama on Coal

Republicans are arguing Barack Obama’s performance in West Virginia, where the President lost 42 percent of the Democratic primary vote to a felon who didn’t actually run a campaign, is a result of his stance on coal.

The proof is on his website, they say.

It was a typical feature on the Obama campaign site: a visually appealing and fully interactive look at the President’s “all-of-the-above” energy policy. But coal was missing.

The Republican National Committee forwarded reporters an article from the Washington Examiner, which flagged it. See the image to the right.

Obama’s site has since been updated; “Clean Coal” has replaced “Fuel Efficiency” on the graphic (though the accompanying video is still coal free).

The RNC and the PAGOP forwarded comments from West Virginia’s Democratic Party Chair Larry Puccio: “A lot of folks here have real frustration with this administration’s stance on coal and energy,” he said. “They are frustrated and they are upset, and they wanted to send Obama a message.”

Likewise former PA Dems Chair T.J. Rooney, who said “Obama needs to “strike a better balance” with all of the country’s natural resources. ‘Right now, it is a problem,’ said Rooney, noting he’s frustrated that he hasn’t heard the president talk lately about clean coal as part of his ‘all-of-the-above’ approach to energy production.”

Republicans are giddy about West Virginia, where Democrats are conservative and Hillary Clinton beat Obama by 40 points in 2008. The felon, Keith Judd, lives in a low-security federal prison in Texas. He was convicted of making threats against the University of New Mexico.

But before the Obama-hates-coal narrative is stuck in stone, Democrats note that Mitt Romney himself has spoken out against coal fired power plants.

From a DNC Rapid Response email in April:

2003: Romney Vowed To Close An Aged Coal-Fired Power Plant Declaring “That Plant Kills People.” “Just after he took office, in 2003, he had attended a news conference at Salem Harbor, Mass., vowing to close an aged coal-fired power plant and declaring: ‘That plant kills people.’ His administration went to work on what would become the nation’s first regulations on the emission of carbon dioxide, and helped launch negotiations on a Northeast regional compact to curb greenhouse-gas emissions.” [Wall Street Journal, 11/11/11]

2005: Romney Touted Massachusetts As “The First And Only State To Set CO2 Emissions Limits On Power Plants.”  “On Dec. 7, 2005, the Romney administration unveiled the final orders. ‘These carbon emission limits will provide real and immediate progress in the battle to improve our environment,’ then-Gov. Romney said in a press release touting Massachusetts as ‘the first and only state to set CO2 emissions limits on power plants.’” [Wall Street Journal, 10/6/11]

Romney, too, has repeatedly hammered Obama over coal. Another Etch-a-Sketch moment?

The Clean Coal topic on Obama’s campaign website now boasts, “The Recovery Act invested substantially in carbon capture and sequestration research, including 22 projects across four different areas of carbon capture-and-storage research and development.”

5 Responses

  1. I suppose it’s better for the Republicans to say it’s “a result of his stance on coal” that it’s “a result of his stance on being black”.

  2. Any coal miner or associated industry worker stupid enough to vote for Obama deserves it when Obama kills their job…which he SURELY will

  3. Does anyone give a crap about T.J. Rooney anymore than they give a crap about Ed Rendell? I don’t think so. The reason you haven’t heard President Obama talking about “clean coal”, is because you aren’t listening. Not to mention that fact the “clean coal” does not exist. It’s a myth.

  4. I think Obama got hurt in West Virginia because he didn’t promote marrying your cousins.

  • Who are you voting for in the PA Supreme Court race?

    • Dan McCaffery (61%)
    • Carolyn Carluccio (37%)
    • Still undecided (2%)

    Total Voters: 344

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