During the 2008 campaign, UMWA had originally thrown its weight behind former North Carolina Democratic Sen. John Edwards during the primaries. But after he dropped out of the race, the coal miners union heartily endorsed Obama — even though he had lost primaries in the coal-heavy states of Kentucky and West Virginia to Hillary Clinton.
“Senator Obama shares the values of UMWA members and our families,” union president Roberts said in 2008. “He understands and will fight for the needs our members have today and the hopes our members have for a secure future for themselves and their families.”
According to the Associated Press, UMWA was “unanimous in picking Obama for its endorsement.” The union, which at the time represented 105,000 active and retired coal workers in the U.S. and Canada were one of many major unions to throw in with Obama.
In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, he stated his energy plan would “bankrupt” coal plant owners, adding that “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket,” under his cap-and-trade system.
“So, if somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can — it’s just that it will bankrupt them, because they are going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted,” Obama told the SF Chronicle.
People act like they can't do nothing else with their lives when their jobs are deemed useless because of technological advancements. Coal burning to produce electricity is primitive, destructive and should of been left behind for other cleaner sources a long time ago.
It’s unlikely that United Mine Workers of America president Cecil Roberts thought he would be arrested protesting the energy policies of the very politician his union supported in 2008. But things have come full circle for coal miners, who now see President Obama’s climate agenda threatening their livelihoods.
Roberts and other UMWA members were arrested Thursday marching through Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, towards the federal building where the Environmental Protection Agency was holding field hearings for a new rule that could very well force more coal mines and plants to shut down.
Roberts was leading about 5,000 coal miners, their families and supporters to show the EPA that coal miners, boilermakers, electric workers and other unions did not support the Obama administration’s new regulations limiting carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants.
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