At a campaign stop in Beallsville, Ohio yesterday Mitt Romney accused President Obama of lying to Ohio voters about his coal policies in exchange for votes in this crucial swing state. With hundreds of miners in attendance, dirty with soot Romney made these remarks:
“But there were some promises he kept. One promise he kept was with regard to energy. He said if he’s elected president and his policies get put in place the cost of energy would skyrocket. That’s one he’s kept. He also said you could go out and build a new coal plant if you want, but if you do you will go bankrupt. That’s another promise he’s intent on keeping. His vice president said coal is more dangerous than terrorists. Can you imagine that? This tells you precisely what he actually feels and what he’s done. And his policies over the last three and a half years have put in place the very vision he had when he was running for office. But now he wants to get reelected. And he knows to do so, he’s got to win Ohio. And to win Ohio, he’s got to win eastern Ohio, and he’s got to get the votes of the people in these communities all around us here and you’re not going to let that happen because you’re going to keep our jobs, you’re going to keep Ohio strong and bring back America.”
Ohio coal facts at a glance:
- Coal provides more than 85% of Ohio’s electricity
- 59.1 million short tons of coal use generated 130.93 billion kilowatt hours of electricity
- Ohio ranks 3rd in US coal usage
- Coal accounts for more than 19,000 high-paying Ohio jobs
- Coal accounts for a combined payroll of more than $800 million dollars.
As EPA rules are implemented and layoffs and shutdowns increase, it seems likely that coal could be a deciding factor in the battle for Ohio:
A Jefferson County coal mine will close, citing President Barack Obama’s policies and a ‘war on coal.’…Ohio American Energy Inc., Murray Energy’s plant in Brilliant, was created in 2007 and expected to stay open for 10 years. It will now close after five years of operation. About 50 employees will be affected.”
Ohio’s First Energy Corp. has announced on September 1 it will be downsizing its Bay Shore coal-fired plant which supplies electricity to northwest Ohio, my area. 73 workers will be laid off.
It could be an ironic twist that the one 2008 campaign promise Obama has been able to keep, his “war on coal,” could be responsible for him and his party losing in 2012.
Crossposted at Conservative Outlooks