Obama's War On Coal

One way or another Mitt Romney would be wise to show that Obama's harsh regulations are hurting America's energy prospects and the pocketbook of the average American. Coal could be that ticket, particlularly in the battleground states of Virginia, Ohio and Pennyslvania. Politico's Bob King and Erica Martinson report:

Anger over coal helped an imprisoned felon defeat President Barack Obama this month in several West Virginia counties.

Now Republicans hope Mitt Romney can squeeze an electoral diamond out of coal country in battleground states such as Ohio, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

The GOP has stoked the fires by accusing Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency of making it more difficult to mine or burn coal, and Republicans made hay when a “clean coal” section quietly turned up on the president’s campaign website after the West Virginia drubbing.

This isn’t a new playbook for Republicans: A similar strategy in 2010 torpedoed more than two dozen Hill lawmakers who had voted for the cap-and-trade climate bill, helping flip control of the House to the GOP. And coal country stretches across states that are crucial to Obama’s hopes for reelection.

The Obama camp also delights in pointing out Romney’s own vulnerabilities on the issue — for example, a 2003 speech in which he said an aging coal-burning plant in Massachusetts “kills people.”

But the GOP is doing all it can to make the “war on coal” message stick against Obama.

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published this page in In The News 2012-05-22 11:39:00 -0400
Analysis & Political Strategy