Daily Dose of Duh: “Coal a Driving Factor in Kentucky Senate Race”
A Lexington Herald-Leader article shouts it from the rooftops, and we all shout back various unflattering things, such as “Why don’t you do your job?”
The landscapes of Eastern and Western Kentucky have little in common, but the areas share at least two things: an abundance of coal and a pivotal role in the U.S. Senate race.
That means coal policies, such as the controversial “cap and trade” approach to cutting greenhouse gas emissions, are a key issue in the contest between Republican Rand Paul and Democrat Jack Conway.
In Western Kentucky, one concern is that cap and trade would cause higher rates for electricity produced by burning coal, hurting two large aluminum smelters that employ 1,500 people and support thousands more jobs.
In Eastern Kentucky, where coal is an economic linchpin, companies and many miners fear tougher environmental regulation will cripple surface mining.
Coal will be the “driving factor” in who carries the eastern counties that rely on it, Bell County Judge-Executive Albey Brock predicted.
“On Election Day, when they go vote, how (Conway and Paul) stand on coal is how these counties are going to go,” said Brock, a Republican.
There has been a perception in Eastern Kentucky, at least so far, that Paul would be a better candidate for coal, several local officials said.
Cap and trade plays a role in that.
Four words. No cap and trade.