Allen makes late-game coal push

The George Allen Senate campaign is on the air Thursday with a new TV ad attacking Tim Kaine on coal.

The spot, titled “Pie Chart,” highlights a 2009 speech in which Kaine explained his commitment to make coal a smaller part of our nation’s energy resources.

“Tim Kaine’s game of pretending to support coal this election is over. There’s no question that Tim Kaine wants to reduce coal jobs, not increase them like George Allen,” said Allen campaign manager Mike Thomas.

The spot also dredges up GOP criticisms of Democratic initiatives to institute a cap-and-trade policy that actually originated in conservative think-tanks. Now cap-and-trade is the effort of “radical environmentalists,” said Thomas, that would “bankrupt coal-fired plants and turn Southwest Virginia coalfield communities into ghost towns.

“While President Obama’s EPA assaults coal with job-destroying regulations, Tim Kaine stands by with the audacity to tell Southwest Virginians, ‘don’t try to weaken them.’ It’s clear Tim Kaine has been doing what President Obama wants him to do for a long time. Southwest Virginians deserve a Senator like George Allen with a record of supporting coal because he knows that his job is to fight for Virginians’ jobs,” Thomas said.

The Kaine campaign responded with its own kick in the shins aimed at Allen, noting Kaine’s long-time support of the coal industry and Allen’s own dubious record on issues related to the interests of coal miners.

“Given his close ties to mining companies like Peabody Energy that are seeking to strip miners and their families of hard-earned pension benefits, it’s no wonder George Allen is hastily trying to change the subject with a misleading, negative attack designed to blur the facts,” said Kaine for Virginia Communications Director Brandi Hoffine.  “But George Allen’s distortions don’t explain the untold compensation he was paid by large corporations that risked the earned benefits of miners and their families in Southwest or his vote in Congress that let companies turn their backs on long-time employees.”

United Mine Workers representative Mike Kennedy also backs Kaine, noting that it was Kaine, “not Allen, who fought to help ensure the permitting of a state of the art coal facility in Wise County that created 2,500 new jobs.”

“It was Tim Kaine, not George Allen, who put in place Virginia’s first statewide energy policy that emphasized use of Virginia’s native resources, including coal,” said Kennedy who lives in St. Paul. “And, it was Tim Kaine, not George Allen, who just last month stood with the United Mine Workers in Castlewood to support us and our families.  We know Tim Kaine will stand with us as a senator just like he did as lieutenant governor and governor of Virginia.”

 
augusta free press

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