After coming under fire for its consistent hostility to the coal industry, the Obama campaign quietly adjusted its energy policy website to include “clean coal” among the president’s energy initiatives.
The energy policy page of BarackObama.com now includes a section for “clean coal,” claiming the stimulus package “invested substantially in carbon capture and sequestration research.”
But until recently, that page made no mention of coal. Its Google cache shows a section for “energy efficiency” where “clean coal” now appears.
The change comes mere days after Obama lost 41% of the vote in the Democratic primary in West Virginia – a state heavily reliant on the coal industry – to a convicted felon and current federal inmate.
The chairman of the WV Democratic Party blamed Obama’s poor showing on his stance on coal energy. “A lot of folks here have real frustration with this administration’s stance on coal and energy,” said state Democratic chairman Larry Puccio. “They are frustrated and they are upset, and they wanted to send Obama a message.”
Critics were quick to point out the disconnect between the president’s self-styled “all of the above” energy policy and a platform that did not include the largest source of American electricity.
The campaign’s energy platform “talks about all of our energy resources and it leaves out 57 percent of our energy sources,” noted Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR).
Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) accused the administration of having a “deep-seated hatred for coal and the electricity generated by coal.”
The change to the website also comes in the wake of a video showing a top administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency comparing his “philosophy of enforcement” against fossil fuel companies to Roman crucifixions.
While the revised energy platform is more friendly to America’s abundant supply of cheap coal energy, Heritage’s Nick Loris noted the administration’s continued hostility to coal.
“Even with the subsidies for carbon capture and sequestration (which the government shouldn’t be investing in nor is the technology needed), the administration has been no friend to coal,” Loris said. ” The federal government is proposing and implementing a host of regulations that will affect existing plants, the ability to build new coal-fired plants and coal mining operations – of which will raise rates on consumers and threaten grid reliability.”