There's a last minute ripple of inflammatory rhetoric churning round a radio interview Obama gave last winter. As it's currently being spun by the right, Obama supposedly said he "wants to bankrupt the coal industry."
Well, not surprisingly, that's not what he said.
I wouldn't care except that Obama need states like Pennsylvania and Ohio if he's going to win this thing. This is one more desperate move by a desperate campaign, but that doesn't mean it's not going to be effective if we don't spread the truth now and stop it.
All the usual tricks apply, it's a snippet of a much larger interview, it's out of context, etc, etc. But they are hoping, with enough hype and hysteria, it can somehow change the tide. How bad are they twisting it? Well, if you go listen to the whole interview, you realize the reporter was actually accusing him of promoting coal!
So, in the interview he is not against coal, he knows we depend on coal, in fact he literally says, "this notion of 'no coal' I think is an illusion." Obama was speaking about our need for clean coal technology to battle climate change.
In the part of the interview they plucked out of context, Obama, speaking as a proponent of coal, was describing the construction of new power plants in some theoretical cap and trade system, he was not speaking about the industry at large. And, yes, there are probably parts of his position that are debatable, sure.
But guess what, his position is a whole lot better for coal miners than John McCain's.
Because McCain's big energy solution is not coal, it's nuclear.
This is what McCain said: "If I am elected president, I will set this nation on a course to building 45 new reactors by the year 2030, with the ultimate goal of 100 new plants to power the homes and factories and cities of America."
Now, 100 new nuclear plants sounds bad for whole a lot of reasons, but most ESPECIALLY IF YOU'RE A COAL MINER. Yes, the region has a bit of uranium, but not whole a lot. The U.S. actually ranks eighth in global uranium production, behind such wonderful places as Kazakhstan, Niger, and Namibia.
So, all you coal miners out there, does it bother you that McCain is trying to export your job to Namibia?