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A look at Democrats who support coal

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Chris Baltimore/Reuters/File

(Read caption) Southern Company's Plant Bowen in Cartersville, Ga., is seen in this 2007 aerial photograph. Democratic candidates in various states support coal-fired energy.

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With 50 days until the election, candidates across the country are beginning to spell out their positions on important issues. One of the central issues this elections has been American-made, coal-fueled electricity.

As part of a series leading up to the election, we’re asking: which candidates are speaking up in support of coal? This week, we’re taking a look at Democrats.

Former North Dakota Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp, now a Democratic senate candidate in North Dakota—as well a former EPA attorney—weighed in on the current administration’s regulatory regime during a debate last week:

We need every energy source we have and this is an area I have disagreements with the administration. They walked away from coal…

North Carolina Rep. Larry Kissell (D) spoke to us during the Democratic National Convention:

We need American jobs, and coal is an American product. Once again, it can give us that energy independence so we’ve got to make sure we use that – and in using that, we will create jobs.

And Kansas Democratic National Convention Delegate Jim Oberbeck knows exactly how important coal is to his state:

We get 70 percent of our electricity from coal where we live…it’s really important…Coal provides a lot of jobs for a lot of people in this country, and that’s what we need right now, is jobs.

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Coal use and affordable electricity isn’t just a bipartisan cause, it’s the backbone of America’s electricity infrastructure. Coal keeps energy costs down for families and businesses. As President Barack Obama said during his convention speech last week: “We’re offering a better path – a future we where keep investing in wind and solar and clean coal.” That’s a path that everyone can agree on, and a path we need to follow through on.

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