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State of the Union address: Why no mention of coal?

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Charles Dharapak/AP/Pool

(Read caption) President Barack Obama, flanked by Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, gives his State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday. Miller offers a look at what some members of Congress are saying about the president’s omission of coal-based electricity from Tuesday night’s speech.

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Yesterday we wondered if President Obama would take the advice of then candidate Obama regarding 21stCentury coal-based electricity.  President Obama made no mention of coal during the State of the Union address last night, which in turn has caused one collective bipartisan question.  Why not?

Here’s a look at what some members of Congress are saying about the President’s omission of coal-based electricity from last night’s speech:

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV): “I was, however, disappointed that he refused to mention coal when he discussed controlling our energy future. I’ve consistently pushed for an all-of-the-above energy policy and this President must do the same. Any discussion of our nation’s energy future must include coal.”

Rep Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV): “He expressly said that he would pick winners and losers in the energy economy, and we all know coal will be in the losing column. The Administration’s rules and regulations have already contributed to 2,000 layoffs throughout Appalachia, and one recent report found that West Virginia lost 1,200 mining jobs in the last quarter of 2012 alone. … I am disappointed that the President is choosing to pursue his broken economic and energy agendas with even more fervor.”

Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH): “Finally, the President renewed his call for a so called ‘all of the above’ energy policy while simultaneously attacking America’s cheapest and most reliable source of energy – coal. His anti-energy policies continue to ignore America’s vast natural resources like natural gas and coal, and the millions of jobs that go with harvesting them. His war on coal, and his rejection of a job-creating energy project like the Keystone XL Pipeline are perfect examples of his failed policies.”

Rep. Nick J. Rahall (D-WV): “But, on the energy front, he is absolutely wrong in his misguided efforts to circumvent the Congress with unilateral regulatory actions that will result in job loss, especially when it comes to the EPA’s unfair and inequitable treatment of coal mining in Appalachia, which the Congress and the courts are rightly resisting. I intend to keep on doing all that I can to promote coal and keep our miners on the job producing affordable energy for the Nation.”

Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA): “President Obama pledged in 2011 to review all federal regulations and remove burdensome ones that inhibit job creation and economic growth. Instead, our nation’s job creators have been handed a ‘regulation wave’ from federal agencies, most notably the Environmental Protection Agency. In Georgia alone, the EPA’s war on coal has already forced plant closures around the state, resulting in the loss of 500 jobs.”


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