Why Coal Prevents West Virginia Democrats From Endorsing Obama
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Coal doesn't know if it will vote for President Obama in November.
That's what the headline probably should have said, but the Republican National Committee's Wednesday email blast made it appear that Democrats have scuffled to the sideline in supporting Obama for 2012.
"Democrat Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin
A second excerpt of the story quotes Tomblin criticizing Obama for making it his mission to drive the coal and energy industry in West Virginia out of business.
Companies like Arch Coal(ACI) , Patriot Coal(PCX) and Alpha Natural Resources(ANR) -- which all have major Appalachia coal mining operations in West Virginia -- each have seen shares shrink by 41.4%, 31.1% and 19.8% year to date, respectively, largely due to incredibly cheap natural gas prices.
"We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly 100 years," Obama said during his January State of the Union address. "The development of natural gas will create jobs and power trucks and factories that are cleaner and cheaper, proving that we don't have to choose between our environment and our economy."
Politicians in West Virginia, fearful of what the rapidly sinking coal industry could mean to jobs in the state, are timid to endorse an energy policy that backs gradual transition by utility companies to the industry (natural gas) that's wrecking things.
"I suspect if natural gas prices are close to what they