Combatting the Environmental Protection Agency’s flurry of new regulations on coal and other energy resources has become a campaign platform for Republicans in key battleground states. GOP contenders in states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia are directing their focus to the Obama administration’s anti-coal policies, while blaming their Democratic rivals for bolstering the EPA’s intrusive regulatory efforts.
Representative Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) recently launched a pro-coal campaign positioning 150 billboards in six different swing states aimed to underscore President Obama’s purported opposition to the coal industry. “Too many lawmakers in Washington have ignored President Barack Obama’s War on Coal,” Griffith said this week. “The Count on Coal campaign is important to Virginians because it is educating the public that coal is not just about mining jobs, it’s about creating all types of jobs, supplying affordable electricity for families [and] businesses and doing it in a reliable, trusted way.”
“Coal is a blessing,” Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, who’s challenging Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown for the Ohio Senate seat, recently told a crowd of supporters. “There are some who are trying to convince the country that coal is a liability.... It’s not a Democratic or Republican issue. It’s an economic issue.”
At a campaign rally late last month, Mandel said 80 percent of Ohioan homes are powered by coal, and that the state’s prodigious history in manufacturing is largely attributed to its “great history of providing affordable energy." "As a Marine veteran, I know that what these guys are doing underground contributes to national security — not just the economy,” Mandel added. “America is safest when we are producing energy here.”
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