Coal was front and center on the campaign trail yesterday, as Mitt Romney visited eastern Ohio to blast President Obama for stifling the coal industry through increased environmental regulation.
Cheap, readily available natural gas has played a major role in the coal industry’s recent contractions, too, but that hasn’t stopped Republicans from focusing on regulations like the mercury limits the EPA imposed in December. Those new rules will likely lead to the closure of several coal-fired power plants.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was in far eastern Ohio on Tuesday — seemingly in the middle of nowhere.
But Beallsville is in the middle of coal country, and this site was carefully chosen. There’s a battle over messaging on coal in Ohio, a state with huge coal reserves and an important but troubled coal industry.
For months, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity has been buying ads in Ohio, talking up coal jobs and blasting the Obama administration’s “heavy-handed regulations” on coal.
In turn, the Obama campaign launched a radio ad a week ago, praising the president’s record on coal. It claims that coal jobs are up 10 percent, and that a $5 billion investment in clean coal technology is one of the largest ever.