Coal and the Democratic Nomination, Wall Street Journal

April 15, 2008 at 6:29 am Leave a comment

Aside from being a bastion of the market liberalism that keeps international trade treaties from addressing climate change solutions, WSJ offers insight into the systems that produce the events that most other news sources just announce and dismiss. This article shows how the Clinton and Obama campaigns have unexpectedly raised the relevance of coal controversies to the outcome of the presidential race. Excerpt below, full article here.

Coalfields Turn Into Battlefields

Push for New Plants
Divides Democrats
In Rural, City Areas
By STEPHEN POWER in Wise, Virginia, and NICK TIMIRAOS in Levittown, Pa.
April 14, 2008; Page A6
The race for the Democratic nomination hinges on a handful of states where coal is still king. That puts Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in a bind: how to attack global warming without threatening an industry that provides half the U.S.’s electricity and more than 80,000 mining jobs.

Campaigning in the Pennsylvania presidential primary this month, Senators Clinton and Obama are championing technology to capture and store carbon-dioxide emissions from coal — while vowing to invest in renewable energies such as wind and solar power.

BURNING ISSUE

The News: The Democratic race is shifting to states that depend heavily on coal, putting Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in a bind as they try to appeal to green audiences.
The Backdrop: Coal producers and their allies are spending heavily to bolster public support for coal.
The Politics: In some states, efforts to build coal-fired plants are pitting Democrats in rural areas against city and suburban dwellers worried about climate change and air pollution.

“Coal is going to remain a major player in American energy,” Senator Clinton told the Pittsburgh Business Times last month.

“We are the Saudi Arabia of coal, and it could be a very important way for us to meet our long-term energy needs,” Senator Obama told voters Wednesday in Levittown, Pa.

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Entry filed under: coal, national.

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