This weekend, as President Barack Obama traveled to West Virginia to mourn the deaths of 29 miners in the Massey coal explosion, the mining industry attacked the president with militant right-wing rhetoric. Obama has supported the U.S. coal industry with an agenda of investing “huge subsidies” in the advanced coal technology that he misleadingly calls “clean coal.” His administration has begun to crack down on the industry’s worst safety violators and most egregious practices like mountaintop removal, but has also announced that any limits on carbon pollution would not begin until 2011. The day before Obama praised coal as “the energy that powers our country and powers the world,” National Mining Association spokesman Luke Popovich attacked the president as a military invader of coal country:
You’d be hard pressed to find a president whose actions have been more warlike on coal. There are those who say the president has parked his tanks on our front lawn, and it’s hard to dispute that.
The National Mining Association — whose directors include Massey Energy’s Don Blankenship — joins a right-wing chorus accusing Obama of “invading” and declaring “war” on Americans, including Newt Gingrich, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH), and CNN commentator Erick Erickson. (HT Appalachian Voices)
West Virginia Blue’s Clem Guttata responds: “Some friendly advice, Luke… before you trump up the war-allusions you might want to tally up the body count of coal miners with the members of your National Mining Association.”