Are you as excited as I am to watch Alison Lundergan Grimes and Mitch McConnell fight over who loves coal the most and who hates Obama’s coal and Kentucky-hating EPA minions and their tyranny the most? Yes, this will get nauseating after 14 months.
The Grimes’ campaign sent out this press release today to show that she doesn’t just hate EPA regulations that keep our air clean and prevent catastrophic global climate change — though we still don’t know if she’s on to the fact that climate change is a hoax conspiracy perpetrated by almost 100 percent of climate scientists throughout the world, wink wink — but that Mitch McConnell is apparently to blame for the loss of coal jobs in Kentucky.
“Coal miners are Kentucky’s heart and soul. Families across the Commonwealth rely on coal to keep food on the table, gas in the car and roofs over their heads. As the EPA releases their new emissions standard this week, I call on the President to do the right thing and develop a policy that does not threaten Kentuckians’ livelihoods. Coal keeps the lights on in Kentucky – plain and simple – and I will not stand idle as overreaching regulation adversely impacts jobs and middle-class families. Any new regulations must take into account the impact on Kentucky jobs and be based on current technology that will not drive Kentucky coal out of business.
“For too long, Kentucky has had a senior senator who talks the talk on coal, but refuses to walk the walk. Despite Senator McConnell’s rhetoric on coal, Kentucky coal jobs have fallen to the lowest number since 1927 under his so-called ‘leadership’ in Washington. As your next U.S. Senator, I will continue to support the coal industry and its miners through common sense policies – not lip service. I will fight for incentives for companies to continue to invest in coal, push for loan guarantees from the federal government for clean coal technology and facility upgrades, and help get hardworking Kentuckians back to work.”
So Obama and McConnell are secretly working together to gut coal jobs in Kentucky, or something. Sure.
But Grimes is certainly not the only one making wild accusations on who is to blame for the loss of jobs in Kentucky’s eastern coal fields. Here’s McConnell’s try:
U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, who faces a seemingly tight re-election bid, has weighed in on the James River Coal new announcement that it was laying off more than 500 miners in Eastern Kentucky.
The Senate Minority Leader put the blame square on what he called President Obama’s “war on coal.”
That, however, contrasts with the James Rivers published explanation, and as a publicly traded company, James Rivers needs to be accurate in the economic information it gives out. The company said the layoffs were “due to continued weakness in the domestic and international coal markets.”
There was no blame placed on environmental regulations.
Unfortunately for Grimes and McConnell — and those of us in Kentucky who will be subjected to their TV ads — the state of the coal industry’s decline in Eastern Kentucky is far more complicated than simple sound bites, finger pointing and “War on Coal” hysteria. But discussing the nuance of factual details concerning the declining price of natural gas cancelling out much of coal’s economic advantage, or how stricter EPA emissions regulations are actually helping the market for the sulfur rich coal in Western Kentucky to the detriment of the east, is not the conversation we’re going to get, even though all of us in Kentucky desperately need to have it.
**** UPDATE ****
Thomas Pearce, Regional Organizer for the Sierra Club in Western Kentucky, gave LEO this statement responding to Grimes:
“The Sierra Club will continue to push Alison Grimes to embrace new carbon regulations from the Obama administration and push for investments in renewable energy like solar and wind in the state of Kentucky and call for an end to the war that King Coal is waging on our mountains, our air, and our waterways. The 13% of Kentucky citizens that suffer from asthma deserve protection from the harmful effects of coal and Kentucky workers deserve to have a place in a new economy without coal.”
And remember that there are other Democrats who have announced their intention to run besides Grimes, including Ed Marksberry:
… and Greg Leichty from our comments section:
“…Alison Grimes is in for a ton of trouble. Ed Marksberry, Greg Leichty and Benny Smith are coming down on the side of putting in place a carbon tax and using some of the money to provide job training and economic development that are displaced by declining market in coal for Eastern Kentucky.”
Ed, Greg and Benny don’t have the money or support to beat Grimes in the primary, but this is a democracy, and there are a good number of Democrats in Kentucky who side more with them on this issue than Grimes.