Obama Slams Romney For Having Admitted Coal Plants ‘Kill People’

Written by Joe Romm

So team Obama has decided the way to win votes in Ohio is with a very targeted radio ad touting his pro-coal record.

They actually attack Romney for his 2003 remarks about a Massachusetts coal plant that was responsible for dozens of premature deaths and 14,400 asthma attacks each year (according the Harvard School of Public Health):

I will not create jobs or hold jobs that kill people. And that plant kills people….

year ago Climate Progress used the exact same clip that Obama does in his ad — except we were slamming Romney for having Etch-a-Sketched away his previous pro-environmental record, whereas team Obama is slamming Romney for supposedly not being as pro-coal as the President is!

I hope you have multiple head vises on for this ad:

I asked Bill McKibben for a comment. He wrote:

Romney says so many untrue things that it’s deeply ironic and deeply troubling when he gets attacked for one of the few straightforward and accurate charges he ever made.

In “The Toll from Coal,” The American Lung Association found that coal-powered electricity alone caused “over 13,000 premature deaths in 2010, as well as almost 10,000 hospitalizations and more than 20,000 heart attacks per year.”

What next for team Obama — bragging about boosting coal exports to China, the only country with higher emissions of carbon pollution than we have?

This post was originally published by Climate Progress.


Related Stories:

Coal Ash Dumps Across the Nation Are Looking To Expand

The Republican Fight For Dirtier Air

Obama Energy Tour: Full of Broken Promises


AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster


James Y.
James Y.5 years ago

You guys are all stupid. Obama has said that he would stop new coal plants, and that rates would increase. This has happened. In the next five years 200 coal-fired generators will shut down, thanks to Obama's EPA. He has no plans to do a damned thing about "clean coal", that i js just something he said to get votes. Much like how now he is taking credit for the increase in coal production and natural gas/oil production that has nothing to do with his presidency (but has everything to do with the private sector). Obama is a tree-hugging bum of the first order. And he is doing everything he wanted. Which is why this leftist must be stopped.

Lauren Graham
Lauren Rischel5 years ago

Being a coal apologist is what is meant by a 'green presidency.' Come on, Obama. I had expected better from you.

Aurolyn L.
Aurolyn L5 years ago

Obama has long been an apologist for coal. He even talks about "clean coal", though it does not yet exist. Tim V., it certainly would be economically problematic to stop coal production. So are you saying that 13,000 deaths a year is just the price we have to pay?

Mark Donners
Mark Donner5 years ago

No compromise, STOP all coal production worldwide. In one fell swoop, just doing that would eliminate 40% of global warming. STOP poisoning the earth for overpopulated human greed. NO earth = NO humans, you stupid greedy corporate idiots.

Mark Donners
Mark Donner5 years ago

Listen Obama you disgusting liar, COAL PLANTS KILL PEOPLE AND ARE DESTROYING THE WORLD'S ENVIRONMENT AND ITS VERY FUTURE, and incidentally your nazi drones murder children so you wouldn't care much about that kind of thing would you. Green president? yeah right.

Mit Wes
Mit Wes5 years ago

@Luvenia, et al. Check out Joule Unlimited. They're developing GM algae that'll directly secrete ethanol, diesel, or other hydrocarbons that can be directly harvested without having to convert the algae biomass itself, vastly reducing cost. One beauty of algae fuel generation systems is that they help close the carbon loop. They all need CO2 to make fuel.

For all you GM-haters, fear not. these algae if they were to escape in the wild they would be too much at a disadvantage to flourish. They excrete most of their collected energy out as the aformentioned liquids. The native algae will literally eat their lunch.

Estimated final cost of a barrel of diesel or ethanol, 50 to 70 USD. The world may yet be running out of oil but it is still full of energy.

Tim Vettel
Tim A V5 years ago

You can not simply cut out an entire section of the support network of the nation. We have to support and clean up existing power production facilities as we work to shift to cleaner power sources. If you shut down coal the already weakened and slowly recovering economy would simply collapse.

By supporting the coal industry workers you keep Americans in Jobs and supporting the economy. Yes we need better environmental protections, incentives for clean energy companies and retrofitting, as well as greater teeth with enforcement.

That being said to put things simply: You can not replace a piston in a motor while it is running.

Winn Adams
Winn A5 years ago


Angela N.
Angela N5 years ago


Mit Wes
Mit Wes5 years ago

Accidents and all, nuclear is still safer than coal, oil and gas.


However, there is such a thing as clean coal, so long as you don't burn it.