New Obama commercial slams Romney for his opposition to ‘Burn, baby, burn!’

By Megan Carpentier
Monday, August 6, 2012 16:07 EDT
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Obama via AFP
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The 2008 election cycle gave us “Drill, baby, drill!,” courtesy of then-VP candidate Sarah Palin (R-AK), but in 2012, it looks to be “Burn, baby, burn!” (and not even in a Disco Inferno). And this time, it might not even be the Republicans chanting it.

President Obama is already out of the gate with one such pro-coal-mining commercial, slamming his Republican opponent Mitt Romney for saying that a Salem, Ohio coal plant “kills people.” That plant, according to Romney’s campaign, was violating state environmental law in a state not know for its exacting enforcement efforts. But for a President whose economic plans once nicely dovetailed with his “green jobs” initiatives, attacking his opponent for being insufficiently committed to coal-burning power plants is enough to make one’s head spin.

Obama has said that coal should be mined for “clean coal” power plants, a series of expensive, technological hoops and retrofits in which the coal-fired plants that produces half of the country’s electricity and 36 percent of its overall toxic emissions may be able to capture a percentage of the acid-rain-generating nitrogen dioxide and sulfur oxide, carbon dioxide and ash they produce. At best, the technologies promoted by the industry and hyped by Obama are cleaner coal technologies — but they are far from the layperson’s idea of clean.

But having, as the Washington Post reported, only narrowly won the primary in coal-producing West Virginia, the last hope of the coal industry is Obama’s new hope for a win there and (as the ad makes clear) in the swing-state of Ohio.

And as for the environmentalists who voted for Obama in 2008 thinking he’d be better than the alternatives? Well, they have their answer: an ad attacking Mitt Romney for his opposition to regulation-defying, environmentally hazardous coal-fired power plant. We don’t need no water.

Megan Carpentier
Megan Carpentier is the executive editor of Raw Story. She previously served as an associate editor at Talking Points Memo; the editor of news and politics at Air America; an editor at Jezebel.com; and an associate editor at Wonkette. Her published works include pieces for the Washington Post, the Washington Independent, Ms Magazine, RH Reality Check, the Women's Media Center, On the Issues, the New York Press, Bitch and Women's eNews.
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