Friday, September 26, 2008

Coalfield Progress suggests Biden contradictory

"Contradiction?" That was the first subhead on a story in today's Coalfield Progress of Norton, Va., on Joe Biden's remark to an environmentalist in northwest Ohio that he and Barack Obama "don't support clean coal," contrary to Obama's statements and some Biden made in southwest Virginia days earlier.

"Saturday, he told United Mine Workers members in Castlewood that Democrats will invest in clean-coal systems during an Obama-Biden administration," Publisher Jenay Tate and News Editor Jeff lester write. "Biden used a campaign stop at Saturday’s annual UMW fish fry in Castlewood to establish his credentials as a friend of coal mining. He pointed out that he grew up in Pennsylvania’s anthracite mining region and that his grandfather was a mine engineer." (Photo, of Biden with UMW International President Cecil Roberts at Castlewood, by Whitney Bentley)

"Before Biden spoke, Ninth District U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Abingdon, told the crowd that Biden is “a friend of coal and of Southwest Virginia.”Biden told union members that Democrats will invest in clean-coal and liquid coal technologies and research. By contrast, he said McCain and his vice presidential running mate Sarah Palin are “oil people.” Within days, critics pointed to a YouTube video of Biden at a campaign stop in Ohio three days earlier." (Read more) For Teresa Mullins' story on the UMW rally, click here. (Subscription may be required)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why is the media so up in arms about an off-the-cuff comment Biden made while they’re not reporting anything about McCain’s long-term and sustained attack on coal jobs?
John McCain has been on the attack against the coal industry for years, starting with legislation he proposed in 2003–Senate Bill 139, the Climate Stewardship Act of 2003–that would have just about wiped out the coal industry in the United States.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration released an analysis of S. 139 in May, 2004, which said the reductions in coal production under the McCain legislation was estimated to be 78 percent by 2025. Since it takes coal miners to produce coal, that would mean a drastic reduction in employment, most of which would have fallen heavily on more labor-intensive mines like we have in Appalachia.
But Sen. McCain was just getting warmed up. He teamed up with Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) just last year and proposed climate change legislation–Senate Bill 280–that once again took a meat-axe approach to Appalachian coal. In that bill, McCain specifically targeted Appalachian coal production for cuts of 30 percent or more, while encouraging production of coal from Wyoming, according to an analysis done of the legislation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Both Obama and McCain have proposed a variety of solutions to dealing with energy issues. They both say that they want to reduce reliance on foreign sources of energy and build an infrastructure in America that relies on a mix of sources to meet the ever-expanding energy needs of our nation, while at the same time reducing greenhouse gases.
But the devil is in the details, and once again Sen. McCain doesn’t measure up when it comes to the potential for coal–our nation’s most abundant energy resource–to continue to be the major contributor to meeting our future energy needs.
The kicker of McCain’s energy plan is to build 45 new nuclear plants across America by 2025, the first wave of 100 new nuclear plants he foresees. The negative impact on coal production and jobs from these plants will be extremely significant. And let’s face it–no matter what happens with respect to climate change over the next 50 to 100 years, the waste generated by a nuclear plant tomorrow will still be deadly to all life 10,000 years from now. Our distant descendants will likely be worrying about staying warm during the next ice age about then.
With the coming development of clean coal technologies like carbon capture and storage (CCS), America is on the brink of being able to use coal to generate energy without contributing any more greenhouse gases to the environment. Sen. McCain pays lip service to CCS, but the record shows that coal has a very limited future in John McCain’s vision of America.
Sen. Barack Obama, on the other hand, is from a coal state and clearly understands the long-term role coal can play in our nation’s energy future. He has pledged to fund development of CCS technology so that it can be deployed as soon as possible. He has said that America is the “Saudi Arabia of coal” and that we ought to be working as hard as we can to figure out how to use it for decades to come.
So the choice for coal miners, their families, their neighbors and everyone living in the coalfield communities throughout the coalfields of the U.S. Barack Obama is for the long-term future of your job and John McCain is not. Keep that in mind when you vote on Nov. 4.