McCain opens line of attack on Obama’s coal comment

Some breaking news in the remaining hours of this election that could actually have an impact in some important swing states, which is why I’m taking the time to discuss it. Some comments dug up from Sen. Obama speaking to the San Francisco Chronicle saying his policies would “bankrupt” the coal industry. Obviously this doesn’t bode well in areas such as western Pennsylvania and Ohio, big coal mining states along with others in the Midwest.

Video of the statement via YouTube:

Needless to say, both Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin jumped on these comments immediately while campaigning in Pennsylvania. Report on this from CBS News:

(MARIETTA, OHIO) – Seizing on a newly released audio tape picked up by the Drudge Report, Sarah Palin took the opportunity here in coal country to accuse Barack Obama of “talking about bankrupting the coal industry.”

“He said that, sure, if the industry wants to build coal-fired power plants, then they can go ahead and try, he says, but they can do it only in a way that will bankrupt the coal industry, and he’s comfortable letting that happen,” Palin said. “And you got to listen to the tape.”

The audiotape Palin was referring to was recorded by the San Francisco Chronicle in a Jan. 17 interview.

“Why is the audiotape just now surfacing?” Palin asked, leading someone in the crowd to shout, “Liberal media!”

“This interview was given to San Francisco folks many, many months ago,” Palin said. “You should have known about this, so that you would have better decision-making information as you go into the voting booth.”

In the audiotape, Obama reiterated his call for a cap and trade system on carbon and greenhouse gases.

“So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can,” Obama said. “It’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”

The Obama campaign immediately responded:

An Obama spokesperson said that Obama’s remarks were taken out of context and pointed out that in another part of the interview, Obama said that the idea of eliminating coal plants was “an illusion.”

“The point Obama is making is that we need to transition from coal burning power plants built with old technology to plants built with advanced technologies–and that is exactly the action that will be incentivized under a cap and trade program,” the spokesperson said. “We know that additional work is necessary to develop and deploy these technologies. That is why Obama has argued for a robust funding program for carbon capture and sequestration. It’s strikingly similar to what McCain has said (in fact McCain goes a step further saying he wants to transition completely away from coal).”

Coal industry officials in Ohio and West Virginia haven’t been too keen on the comments, check here and here.

Sound off below, will this affect anything or is it just a last minute November-surprise?