Coal Miners’ Union Says Members Aren’t Wild About Obama or Romney

Amy Harder of the National Journal has a story out today about the United Mine Workers of America, and the union's reluctance to back either presidential candidate this year.

Harder went to Fairmont, West Virginia and spoke with UMWA official (and Democratic member of the state House of Delegates) Mike Caputo.

“Our members count on coal-fired power plants and burning of coal to keep jobs,” Caputo said. “We’re a very Democratic union and we try to listen to the rank and file. They’ve sent a clear message that they’re not supportive of the environmental rules that are being put in place.”

Caputo pointed out that many of the biggest EPA rules, including one finalized last December to control mercury and other air toxic pollution from coal plants, were first enacted under Republican administrations, including President George H.W. Bush.

“A lot of our members don’t realize that,” Caputo said. “But whoever is in charge is going to get blamed.”

But Caputo also says for coal miners, Romney's record isn't much better. The UMWA endorsed President Obama in 2008.

Erica Peterson

Erica Peterson reports on energy and the environment for WFPL.

@ericampeterson

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