Coal Policy Key to Jobs and Votes in Swing States Says NMA

The following statement was released by National Mining Association President & CEO Hal Quinn prior to this evening’s debate between Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama:

“Voters throughout America’s heartland understand the importance of affordable and abundant coal-based electricity. Coal has powered the nation’s prosperity, created thousands of jobs and is vital to a hoped-for American manufacturing renaissance. It is our nation’s most abundant energy resource.

“That’s why Gov. Romney and Pres. Obama must lay out clearly their policies for coal in tonight’s debate. With nearly 250 years of coal in the U.S., Gov. Romney’s question, “Why in the heck wouldn’t we use it?’ is a serious one for our energy future. He has committed to using coal as part of an all-of-the-above energy policy that will make North America energy independent.

“In 2008, then-candidate Obama said, ‘we’re going to have to develop clean coal technology.’ Yet current administration policies virtually preclude the construction of new, cleaner coal-based plants that are the necessary platform for the technology the president advocated. These same policies have skewed the market against coal—leaving more than 6,000 coal miners without jobs.

“This year’s presidential election is running through the coal fields of Ohio, southwest Virginia, western Colorado and Pennsylvania. Gov. Romney and President Obama must speak to those voters and voters across America who have counted on coal to provide affordable electricity, jobs and a better standard of living for themselves and their families.”