After President Barack Obama announced plans last week to limit coal emissions as part of his new energy initiative, the GOP was quick to use the “war on coal” to attack Democrats running for election in coal-producing states.
The GOP took aim at Democrats in Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia claiming that moving the nation away from coal and gas energy will increase the price of electricity and hoping conservatives will make a show at the polls.
As Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announced Monday she would challenge the seat of Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the National Republican Senatorial Committee accused her of embracing the president’s “radical agenda.”
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., sponsor of the failed gun bill, said Obama’s stance on coal is a "war on America."
"It's just ridiculous … I should not have to be sitting here as a U.S. senator, fighting my own president and fighting my own government," he told Fox News. "I will continue to reach out, but I need a partner here. I don't need an adversary."
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz denied the administration is waging a “war on coal.”
Moniz told Reuters that Obama "expects fossil fuels, and coal specifically, to remain a significant contributor for some time [to the nation's energy supplies]."
The coal industry claims it just needs time to develop clean technology.
"Remind everyone who represents you ... that sheltering future generations against the ravages of climate change is a prerequisite for your vote," Obama said.
The administration's detailed infographic shows how the energy plan aims to curb rising temperatures and natural disasters that cost tens of billions of dollars.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said Obama needs to make a clear indication of what the energy policy will mean for miners.
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said the president’s plan is just an "effort to raise electricity prices in Ohio."
Portman claims more than 80 percent of the state’s electricity comes from burning coal.
"President Obama's EPA overreach has already cost jobs in Ohio," he said. "At least eight coal-fired power plants in Ohio are set to close due in large part to regulatory mandates put in place by the EPA."