The Washington Post

Obama campaign fires up coal industry

The Obama campaign, after strong criticism from coal industry folks and Democrats in coal country, has quietly fixed its “all of the above” energy policy Web site.

A bulldozer works the piles of coal at Knox Creek Coal Mine on May 3, 2010 in Red Ash, Va. (Ricky Carioti/THE WASHINGTON POST)

The original version included seven pillars of the policy but made no mention of coal — which, after all, generates nearly half the nation’s energy supply.

Obama’s energy policies — including some environmental regulations — have made the industry most unhappy. And being excluded as a key part of the Obama energy policy just added to the feelings of neglect.

The Web site change Friday came but a few days after President Obama’s embarrassing showing last week in the West Virginia Democratic primary, where a convicted felon and prison inmate got 41 percent of the vote.

The new Web site puts coal back into the mix -- joining nuclear, oil, biofuels, wind, solar and natural gas. Even has a nice blurb about how much President Obama likes coal.

But there are still seven components so, let’s see, which one took the hit for coal?

Ah, yes, “fuel efficiency,” which used to be on the wheel at three o’clock.

Campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt assured us Monday that “fuel efficiency is still on site. . . . It’s in the “oil section.” So clearly remains a part of the administration’s energy plan.

But it’s dropped off the snappy wheel.

The original Obama campaign website’s energy policy page (above) listed “fuel efficiency” as a key component. The new one on Friday (below) featured “clean coal” instead.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.


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