The Times West Virginian

November 17, 2012

Is there really a ‘war on coal’?

By Jonathan Williams
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — As America has waged war in foreign countries, she has also pitched her battle lines in the yards and along the highways of coal country.

Seemingly overnight, signs blasting the phrase “Stop the War on Coal” popped up across Marion County, West Virginia and in neighboring coal-producing states like Pennsylvania and Ohio.

The solution, these signs said, was to “Fire Obama.” But with the election behind us and the president elected to a second term, does that mean the alleged “War on Coal” will continue unabated?

Like most political questions, it depends on how we work to answer it.

In order to answer the question, we have to start by looking at what the “War on Coal” is. The movement is murky; though millions of dollars have been poured by various coal industry groups into messaging, there’s no clear leader or spokesman leading the charge.

However, politicians from both sides of the aisle from states and districts where coal accounts for a significant portion of their constituency’s livelihoods have come forward to blast the administration’s “war on coal.”

Find the full story in Sunday’s Times West Virginian, available at newsstands or through home delivery by calling 304-367-2525 or 304-367-2527.