(Quin Hillyer, Liberty Headlines) The former Obama administration’s de facto war on coal may come back to haunt even one of the more moderate Democrats in the Senate, West Virginia’s Joe Manchin.

An out-of-work coal-industry worker, Bo Copley – briefly famous for a confrontation with Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign – now says he will challenge Manchin in the state’s 2018 Senate race.

Clinton, when she tried to explain last year how her plans would supposedly make up for coal-industry losses, had said “we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” She said that sentence was taken out of context, but Copley didn’t buy it.

“I don’t think Hillary Clinton cares about my vote,” he said – and he associated her with the policies of Obama that he said “really hamstrung us.”

So now Copley is running for Senate, saying that even if Manchin sometimes looks after coal interests, Manchin’s support for Clinton’s campaign last year and other votes for the Democratic party line “showed that he has lost touch with his constituents.”

Manchin has been popular in West Virginia, winning his last race by 24 points, but Donald Trump beat Clinton there last year by a whopping 42 points.

As Copley indicated, a major reason – indeed probably the major reason – why West Virginia turned from what had been a solidly Democratic state for decades through the 1990s into a state that votes overwhelmingly Republican for most offices is that national Democrats have been seen as hostile to coal.

Landscape

Obama infamously told a San Francisco editorial board that any attempt to build a “coal-powered plant” would “bankrupt” the company building it, “because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”

As The Daily Caller reported last September:

A 2015 study found the coal industry lost 50,000 jobs from 2008 to 2012 during Obama’s first term. During Obama’s second term, the industry employment in coal mining has fallen by another 33,300 jobs, 10,900 of which occurred in the last year alone, according to federal data.

Furthermore, reported the paper, “Companies opened 103 new mines in the U.S. in 2013 while 271 coal mines were idled or shut down.”…

[The whole story is here.]

 

Tags: , , , ,