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Energy Voices: Insights on the future of fuel and power

A look at Democrats who support coal

Democrats from Kansas to North Carolina support US coal-fueled electricity. 

By Lisa Camooso MillerAmerican Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) / September 17, 2012

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

Chris Baltimore/Reuters/File

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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.

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Vice President for Media Relations, American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE)

Lisa Camooso Miller is ACCCE's vice president for media relations. She oversees ACCCE's earned media implementation and strategic planning and appears regularly in print, radio and on national television. For more than 15 years, Lisa has been a notable communications leader in public affairs, holding key positions in local, state and federal government, political campaigns and committees, as well as advocacy organizations.

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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.

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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