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Transition 2012

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Midday Update: GOP Blames ‘War on Coal’ for Job Losses

by Newsteam Staff
September 19, 2012

A senior advisor to U.S. GOP nominee Mitt Romney listens to questions from reporters on campaign plane September 18, 2012. (Jim Young/Courtesy Reuters) A senior advisor to U.S. GOP nominee Mitt Romney listens to questions from reporters on campaign plane September 18, 2012. (Jim Young/Courtesy Reuters)

GOP nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, blamed the Obama administration’s “war on coal” for the announcement of 1,200 coal mining job cuts by Alpha Natural Resources.

The most immediate effects will be felt in Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania–two of which are crucial swing states.

Alpha CEO Kevin Crutchfield said the move was “a necessary part of shifting business away from U.S. power plants and toward overseas steel mills,” according to the Associated Press. Virginia-based Alpha will shift its focus from thermal coal, used in domestic power generation, to metallurgical coal used in steelmaking.

Crutchfield also cited what he called “a regulatory environment that’s aggressively aimed at constraining the use of coal” (AP).

The Romney campaign also released two new television ads criticizing Obama’s position on coal energy (TheHill).

Read more about the candidates’ positions on energy policy in this CFR Issue Tracker.


Speaking yesterday in Virginia–a state with a large military population where President Obama has been leading recently–Paul Ryan criticized Obama over looming defense budget cuts (AP) that will occur next year unless Congress reaches a deal to reduce the national debt.

He referred to a deal Congress and the White House reached in August 2011 to raise the nation’s debt ceiling in exchange for a deficit reduction agreement by a congressional super-committee,” AP reports. “An incentive for Congress to act prescribes wrenching across-the-board cuts to military and domestic spending at the start of 2013. Ryan never mentioned that he voted for the 2011 budget-control legislation and, as chairman of the House Budget Committee, advocated for its passage on the House floor.”

On NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, Mitt Romney said it was a “mistake for Republicans to go along with it,” despite the fact that most Americans support defense cuts (USAToday).

Read what the candidates are proposing for defense policy in this CFR Issue tracker.


GOP nominee Mitt Romney, who trails President Obama 30 percent to 60 percent among Latino voters, will speak tonight at the Univision Meet the Candidates forum.

Romney has been actively trying to court the Latino vote. This week, he told Latino business leaders in Los Angeles he thinks the “Republican Party is the rightful home of Hispanic Americans” (CNN).

This CFR Issue Tracker looks at both candidates’ stances on immigration.

–Contributing Editor Kirsti Itameri

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