Vice President Joe Biden, campaigning in Ohio, got a frosty reception from a group of coal miners opposed to the Obama Administration's anti-coal stance.
BuzzFeed Politics reports around 100 coal miners and Tea Party activists showed up to hear Biden speak holding signs like "Biden said 'no more coal in America'" and “Stop the war on coal, fire Obama.”
The political blog quotes rally organizer Kevin Hughes, superintendent of the American Energy Corporation's Century Mine, saying the miners are opposed to Obama's regulatory agenda they say is killing jobs.
Obama's government has been criticized for neglecting to mention coal as part of its energy strategy. The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity earlier this month turned to the popular sport of NASCAR in a bid to win popular support for the coal industry. In response, Obama's campaign site added "Clean Coal" to its Energy and the Environment page, which also touts wind power, solar energy, and reducing US dependence on foreign oil.
Big Coal's efforts to shore up support for the industry comes as the coal sector is under increasing pressure from cheaper natural gas, as well as more regulation and government plans to phase out coal-fired power plants. Coal once accounted for over half of the country's electricity but has now slipped to just over 40%.
On the other hand, according to the latest stats from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), next year the independent research body forecasts electricity generation from coal will increase by about 4%, "as projected coal prices fall slightly while natural gas prices increase, allowing coal to regain some of its power generation share."