U.S. Senate candidates Tom Smith and Josh Mandel joined forces in Hubbard on Friday.
The Republicans accused Democrats of waging a war on coal by putting aggressive regulatory policies in place that has plants shutting down and people losing their jobs.
Mandel says, “In eastern Ohio, not too far from the Youngstown area, there’s about 200 plus coal miners who are going to be out of work. They’re going to lose their jobs because of a lot of the regulations coming out of Washington.”
As the Senate candidates held a news conference outside of the Ellwood Engineered Castings Plant in Hubbard, Smith told reporters and several workers, “When President Obama first ran for office he said that folks could build coal fired power plants, but his regulations would bankrupt them.”
Smith, who once owned several coal companies, says he’s experienced firsthand the crippling ramifications of an out of control government. He says, “Our manufacturing is struggling, not adding jobs. President Obama, Senator Sherrod Brown, and Senator Casey are waging a war on coal. Mines are shutting down. Pennsylvanians and Ohioans by the thousands are losing jobs because of it.”
Josh Mandel is running for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Democrat Sherrod Brown and says Republicans and Democrats need to work together. “I believe the coal and the oil and the gas we have underground in Ohio and America are assets. Sherrod Brown and Barack Obama treat them as if they’re liabilities. In a responsible way that protects the air we breathe, and the water we drink, and the environment for our kids and our grandkids, I believe we should be maximizing these resources for the economic strength, and the national security of America.”
Justin Barasky, the Communications Director for Friends of Sherrod Brown, responded to claims that Brown is costing Ohio jobs by saying, “Josh Mandel has repeatedly refused to support the auto rescue that helped protect 850,000 industry related jobs and refuses to support Sherrod’s bipartisan effort to stand up for Ohio manufacturing jobs by cracking down on China. So he’s the last person in the state who should come to the Mahoning Valley and talk about middle class jobs.”
Michael Kamnikar, Senior Vice-President of the parent company for Ellwood Engineered Castings agrees with Mandel and Smith, “We need to look before we leap in terms of these regulations, and the affect that they will have on these power plants.”
According to Republicans, approximately 35 percent of Pennsylvania plants will have to shut down or modernize to meet the new regulations for coal, and they fear the coal industry will be left in the dust as the President promotes wind, solar and other forms of clean energy.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press out of Pittsburgh is reporting that there has been a dramatic decrease in the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. Reportedly, it’s the lowest level in 20 years. According to government experts, the biggest reason is reportedly that many power plant operators have switched from what they term dirtier burning coal to cheap and plentiful natural gas.