The coal industry has reacted strongly to claims by Hilary Clinton, who is running to be the Democratic nominee in this year’s US presidential election, that should be elected “we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business”. Clinton made the remarks at a town hall event in Ohio broadcast on cable news channel, CNN.
“Hillary Clinton’s callous statements about coal miners, struggling under the weight of a hostile administration, are reprehensible and will not be forgotten,” said the Ohio Coal Association in response in a statement posted on the association’s Facebook page.
“The way Secretary Clinton spoke so nonchalantly about destroying the way of life for America’s coal families was chilling”
The National Mining Association also hit out at Clinton’s comments with its President and CEO, Hal Quinn, calling the remarks “surpassing strange and deeply troubling to hear” and accused Clinton of being “completely out of touch with working Americans and the industries that employ them.
Adding its voice to the chorus of criticism, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity said that coal “played a tremendous role in powering homes and developing communities.”
“By flippantly writing-off the well-being of countless coal miners, their families and all of those involved in the coal-based electric industry, Secretary Clinton is showing Ohio voters her true colors,” the ACCCE concluded.
Since the remarks were made, Clinton’s campaign has tried to undo some of the damage with Brian Fallon accusing Clinton’s detractors of taking the words out of context.
“Obviously she was making the exact opposite point: that we have to take proactive steps to make sure coal workers, their families and their communities get not just the benefits they’ve earned, but also the future they deserve,” Fallon told CNN.
Coal is a key issues in Ohio – a key swing state in this year’s presidential election – and Clinton will be keen to do well in the state’s primary today. Polls show she holds a double-digit lead over her rival for the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders.
Edited by Jonathan Rowland.