AP - Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are walking a delicate line as they promise to aggressively tackle global warming while trying to assure voters that they continue to believe in the future of coal.

...increased mechanization has produced a dramatic decline in coal industry employment....

..."clean coal" has become the mantra of both candidates. Some environmentalists are not too happy with that.

"They keep using the term 'clean coal.' That's really an oxymoron," snaps Brent Blackwelder, president of the environmental group Friends of the Earth. "They absolutely are pandering the coal industry's propaganda that clean coal is the hope of the future. There's no such animal as clean coal."

...neither has embraced the call by Al Gore and many Democrats in Congress for a moratorium on new coal burning power plants until carbon capture can be commercially developed.

...the candidates' pitches [are comparable] to their embrace of corn-produced ethanol in Farm Belt states such as Iowa.

At times, walking the line between coal and environmentalists hasn't been easy, especially when the topic became mountaintop mining, a practice prevalent in West Virginia, where large areas of mountain tops are stripped away to reach the coal.

Clinton drew the ire of some environmentalists when in public radio interview there she said she was "concerned" about mountaintop mining but also viewed it as an "economic and environmental trade-off" that must be "looked at ... from a practical perspective."

Facing a group of environmentalists opposed to mountaintop mining at a meeting in the coal town of Beckley, W.Va., Obama also talked about the balance between economics and environmental protection.

"There are environmental consequences to coal extraction," said Obama, "just as there are with any energy source." That's just what some of the mine workers in the audience wanted to hear.

RLCC Comment: What a disaster it is when the picks of the media giants (Clinton and Obama were picked from the start by the major media corporations who gave them tons of cover while making the others appear like born losers) can't even say that mountaintop removal is diabolical. Clinton and Obama give such weak answers to nearly everything. McCain panders too of course.

Why can't they say, "To Hell with mountaintop removal and to dirty energy sources." Why can't they explain to the mine workers that there are better jobs and a higher quality of life waiting for everyone with clean energy now. The new coal plants are being planned as if sequestering were already here. It isn't. Al Gore is absolutely right about that.

Link to source-webpage, obtained via: Yahoo! News: Climate Change, April 19, 2008, 1:04am

Tom Usher

About Tom Usher

Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.