Friday, October 17, 2008

McCain-Palin Plan Is Better for Coal

Wheeling, West Virginia
By the News-Register
POSTED: October 17, 2008

Candidates for vice president often offer excellent windows into what their running mates, those seeking the presidency, really think. Comments by Gov. Sarah Palin and Sen. Joseph Biden have been especially illuminating in regard to the coal industry.

Palin, who is Sen. John McCain's running mate, visited Belmont County on Sunday. Members of the large crowd who attended her rally made it clear where they stand on coal.

"Mine, baby, mine," they chanted.

Palin agreed with them. "We have more coal in this country than there is oil in Saudi Arabia," she noted. "The question is, why aren't we using it?"
In speeches and, sometimes, in conversations with individuals, Palin has made it clear that she understands the need to use more coal in the United States. McCain himself favors development of "clean coal" technology. Clearly, he, too, recognizes the need to make as much use of coal as possible. The alternative, continuing reliance on foreign oil, simply is not realistic.

Sen. Barack Obama, running against McCain, also claims to be a proponent of clean coal technology. But during a September campaign stop elsewhere in Ohio, his running mate, Biden, made it crystal clear that he does not like coal.

"We're not supporting clean coal," Biden told a woman. "No coal plants here in America," he added.

Since then, Biden has attempted to backtrack. During his appearance this week in Belmont County, he attempted to portray himself and Obama as friends of coal.

And during the televised debate between Palin and himself, Biden claimed his earlier statement, "We're not supporting clean coal," was taken out of context.

No, it was not. Too many East Ohio and Northern Panhandle residents have watched and listened to the video tape of Biden's September statement in Ohio. What he said was very, very clear - in any context. To suggest otherwise is to insult the intelligence of voters.
We believe the Obama claim to support clean coal technology is more window-dressing than reality. He recognizes that, should he be elected president, ultra-liberals in Congress would reject anything more than token funding for coal.

Thanks in part to Biden, voters who understand how badly the United States needs to increase its reliance on coal have a clear-cut choice: Either McCain/Palin, where progress is quite possible - or Obama/Biden, where it is no more than a throwaway campaign promise.

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