Mike Carey, president of the Ohio Coal Association (OCA), today issued the following statement in response to just-released remarks from Senator Barack Obama about the nation's coal industry.
"Regardless of the timing or method of the release of these remarks, the message from the Democratic candidate for President could not be clearer: the Obama-Biden ticket spells disaster for America's coal industry and the tens of thousands of Americans who work in it. These undisputed, audio-taped remarks, which include comments from Senator Obama like 'I haven't been some coal booster' and 'if they want to build [coal plants], they can, but it will bankrupt them' are extraordinarily misguided. It's evident that this campaign has been pandering in states like Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, Indiana and Pennsylvania to attempt to generate votes from coal supporters, while keeping his true agenda hidden from the state's voters."The area in question has the potential to swing Pennsylvania towards McCain/Palin. Consider the following graphs:
The upper left is the county-by-county 2004 results for President, with an outline of the coal fields, as indicated by the survey map below. To the right of that picture is a more accurate purple map, indicating that as many as 5 counties in Western PA are "swing" counties, and two in Eastern PA, which fall into the Coal Belt.
Obama's audio, as provided by my previous post, could help undecided (and decided) voters in those key areas to vote in favor of a candidate who has not just endorsed the idea of bankrupting and eliminating their jobs.
With no early voting in the state, and a number of undecided voters in the region, this could be the boost needed to push PA over the line and into the McCain camp. It's the jobs, energy costs, and economy stupid!