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"The people who cast the votes don't decide an election; the people who COUNT the votes do." -- Joseph Stalin

Monday, November 3, 2008

Miners Union: McCain "Twisting Truth" on Obama and Coal

The union representing coal miners came to Obama's defense Monday.

"Sen. John McCain and his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, have once again demonstrated that they are willing to say anything and do anything to win this election. Their latest twisting of the truth is about coal and some comments Sen. Obama made last January about the future use of coal in America," said Cecil E. Roberts, president of the United Mine Workers of America, in a statement released Monday afternoon.

Roberts noted that McCain and the Republicans ignored Obama's overall point during his interview.

The Democratic candidate told the Chronicle, "This notion of no coal, I think, is an illusion," noting the amount of energy the US dervies from coal. Obama pushed for development of technology to sequester carbon emissions, the central tenant of so called "clean" coal.

"Despite what the McCain campaign and some far right-wing blogs would have Americans believe, Sen. Obama has been and remains a tremendous supporter of coal and the future of coal," Roberts said.

The coal issue is a particularly tricky one for McCain. Before he became the Republican Party's presidential nominee, McCain demonstrated his willingness to diverge from GOP orthodoxy on climate change and environmental regulation. In 2003, he and Sen. Joe Lieberman co-sponsored one of the first cap and trade bills in the Senate aimed at reducing carbon emissions. McCain removed his name from a similar measure that was debated earlier this year.

Indeed, on his Web site, McCain still touts his proposal for a cap and trade system and development of low-emissions alternatives. Surely he and Obama would quibble on the details of such a system, but they share the same basic goals.

Nonetheless, the coal industry traditionally supports Republicans, and John McCain is now the party's nominee. So the industry is doing its part to flog the campaign's latest talking point painting Obama as anti-coal.


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