"The moves come as the presidential campaigns spar over the future of coal power," and as they worry about an April deadline to begin construction, created by the Obama administration's limits on greenhouse-gas emissions. "They say separate government rules on mercury emissions are making it tough to hit that deadline," because the mercury rules are not due to be final until March.
Tracy notes that Republican Mitt Romney is running a TV commercial in coal states with "mournful images of coal miners facing the industry's decline. . . . With some parts of battleground states like Ohio reliant on coal jobs, the White House has started to defend itself more vigorously against the 'war on coal' allegation" being made by Republicans and coal interests. (Read more)
Also weighing in this week: Time magazine with an usual look at the debate through the eyes of controversial Ohio coal executive Robert E. Murray who "may be Obama's biggest headache in a state where he leads by about 4 points." Time's Michael Scherer gives Murray and the pro-coal alliance which has spent millions to defend Obama lots of space to vent about the president's policies.