The two presidential campaigns are now operating as weird reflections of each other. Each is criticizing the other for killing energy jobs; each is claiming to be an industry's salvation. It's basically the same strategy, but Romney says "coal" while Obama says "wind."
This afternoon, Mitt Romney heads to Ohio, where he'll attend a "coal event" in a small town near the West Virginia border. Romney's goal is to leverage the "war on coal" rhetoric that's dragging down the president's popularity in the region.
As Cincinnati.com notes, the optics of Romney's trip today may be tricky.
Romney will be at American Energy. A sister company within parent Murray Energy Corp. pleaded guilty last month for a pipeline rupture at a coal preparation plant near Beallsville that spilled thousands of gallons of slurry into pristine Captina Creek, turning the stream black for 22 miles. Ohio Valley Coal Co. pleaded guilty last month in federal district court to criminal violations of the federal Clean Water Act. The spill is costing the company millions.
Murray Energy is the largest privately held coal company in the nation, according to its website. An accident at its Century Mine in Beallsville on Aug. 8, 2011 killed a worker.
So why the visit? Why let Murray "[bus] in employees and their families for the rally in support of Romney"? Perhaps this CNN interview with Robert Murray, CEO of Murray Energy, explains.