Obama Vice President Choice May Shed Light On His Position On Coal

08/09/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

So Virginia governor Tim Kaine is apparently in the pole position for the Obama veepstakes. Aside from all the other considerations--do vice-presidential candidates even help carry states any more, and how much is that Honduran vote worth, anyway?--one question does spring to mind.

Why would a presidential candidate determined to cut emissions of greenhouse gases by 80% and who has declared war on coal pick a running mate who made national headlines precisely by fighting environmentalists tooth-and-nail to get a big, new coal-fired power plant for southwestern Virginia?

Sen. Obama's zig-zagging public stances on coal's place in future U.S. energy policy have already caused plenty of confusion. (Granted, a lot of those zigs came during a heated primary campaign his general-election opponent largely avoided.) Coal is very bad, and isn't part of the energy answer--except in Kentucky, and West Virginia, and Ohio, and any of the other states that mine it or burn it, apparently.

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