Obama embraces ‘clean coal’ in Ohio radio ad

By Arturo Garcia
Monday, August 6, 2012 14:49 EDT
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Barack Obama re-election stump speech via AFP
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A new radio ad for President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign attacks Mitt Romney’s record on coal plants started running in the coal-heavy state of Ohio Tuesday, Politico reports.

The ad lauds Obama’s $5 billion investment in technology for “clean coal” plants and 10 percent growth in coal jobs in Ohio, which The Youngstown Vindicator reported generates 85 percent of the state’s energy supply before playing a clip of Romney, his presumptive Republican challenger, telling reporters at a plant nine years ago that he would not support jobs that kill people.

“That plant kills people,” Romney says in the ad. A spokesperson with Romney’s campaign told The Vindicator, his remarks were in reference to a specific plant in Salem Harbor, Ohio, that had not been complying with state environmental laws, and not the coal industry as a whole.

The ad debuts four days after OhioAmerican Energy blamed Obama’s administration for conducting a “war on coal” that forced it to shutter its plant near the southeast Ohio town of Brilliant five years earlier than expected.

In May, The Washington Post reported that the Obama campaign added “clean coal” to its energy strategy following an embarrassing showing in the West Virginia Democratic primary election, where a convicted felon placed second to Obama with more than 70,000 votes.

According to The Hill, new regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency regulations require new power plants that burn fossil fuels to release no more than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt‐hour. For coal plants, that would mean adding carbon capture and storage technology, which trap emissions in the ground, as opposed to release them into the atmosphere.

But just last week, The Rachel Maddow Show touched on the topic of coal, with Maddow’s guest, physics professor Richard Muller, saying the only way to stop the increasing reality of global change was to stop using coal entirely.

“The biggest thing is — and this will be controversial — the biggest thing is a switch away from coal and to the one thing that can replace it in the poor countries that are going to produce most of the carbon dioxide, natural gas,” Muller said. “We have to make fracking clean so that countries such as China and India can switch. Natural gas produces one third the carbon dioxide of coal for the same energy. If we don’t do this, I don’t think we have a chance.”

You can listen to the ad, posted by Politico Monday, below:

[image via Agence France-Presse]

Arturo Garcia
Arturo Garcia
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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