Today's NYT quoted at WVaRed:
West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D) lashed out at President Obama today for sending inconsistent messages about the future of coal.
Speaking at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Obama’s fiscal 2011 budget request, Rockefeller took umbrage first with the administration’s decision to eliminate four tax breaks for the industry.
“It’s going to be partly psychological,” Rockefeller told White House budget chief Peter Orszag. “People are going to reduce their production because they feel, ‘Uh oh, here comes the Obama administration,’ and they are going to cut out coal.”
But Rockefeller said his concerns snowballed when he considered recent U.S. EPA decisions on mountaintop-removal coal mining and work on regulations to control greenhouse gas emissions across the economy. Given that, he said, he isn’t sure he trusts the president’s commitments to coal, even as Obama promotes the fossil fuel through a series of other administration actions.
“He says it in his speeches, but he doesn’t say it in here,” Rockefeller said, referring to the budget proposal. “He doesn’t say it in the actions of [EPA Administrator] Lisa Jackson. And he doesn’t say it in the minds of my own people. And he’s beginning to not be believable to me...."
Did J-Rock wake up, or is he running scared? I guess it doesn't matter all that much since he's not up for re-election until 2014. If you're at all interested in the survival of the coal industry (or the economy of West-byGD-Virginia), then please write or call to thank the good Senator. We need to encourage this kind of dissent. It is, after all, the highest form of patriotism :)