Last week, the Wonk Room reported that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) joined Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) in opposing mountaintop removal, an ecologically and economically disastrous form of coal mining that has devastated Appalachia. This position, expressed at a Florida townhall meeting, caught his campaign and his supporters off guard, with Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) responding that "such a stance could hurt McCain in West Virginia."
At the same meeting, McCain also criticized the idea of building new coal plants that do not sequester their greenhouse gas emissions. He said:
"We're going to build new plants that generate energy, my friends, we're going to build them. We've got to. There's an increased demand for it. And it seems to me, it's going to be coal, which I believe will increase greenhouse gas emissions dramatically, or it's going to be nuclear, or it's going to be clean coal technology."