Clinton and Obama boost coal in West Virginia
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both did some coal-boosting while campaigning in West Virginia this week. Clinton told West Virginians she’s always been in favor of “the cleanest coal possible,” but that “coal fits in very importantly” to America’s energy future. Asked about mountaintop-removal mining in a radio interview Wednesday, she hedged, saying she didn’t “know enough to have an independent opinion” but considered it a “trade-off” between “economic necessities and environmental damage.” (By the by, coal jobs have dropped 80 percent in the past half-century while coal production has increased. And the environmental damage is significant.) Obama has spoken out against mountaintop-removal mining, but still spent his West Virginia time stumping for “clean” coal, expressing a wish to create “up to 5 million new green jobs … including new clean coal jobs.” When coal jobs are green jobs, we don’t know what the world has come to.