Virginia’s senior Republican Sen. John Warner and Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling warned Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama against demonizing coal during a scheduled visit to their home state.
“Coal is clearly our main source fuel and we must support the coal industry and their efforts to try to make their emissions cleaner,” Warner said. “We cannot put further taxes on coal and we certainly don’t want to refer to it as the source of ‘dirty energy.’” Warner was referring to remarks Obama made earlier this year to the San-Antonio Express News. Obama said, “What we ought to do is tax dirty energy, like coal and to a lesser extent, natural gas.”
Warner’s rebuke was made in anticipation of a planned Obama campaign event in Lebanon, Virginia Tuesday afternoon—a southwestern town with a rich mining industry that Hillary Clinton carried in the Democratic primaries. There, Obama is expected to discuss his plans for the economy which includes higher taxes on many sources of domestic energy production like coal.
“Senator Obama has called coal ‘dirty energy’ and called for massive taxes on coal,” Republican Lieutenant Governor Bolling echoed. “I can’t think of anything that could be worse for the economy.”