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Coal Miners Rally Against Obama EPA, Silent On Grimes

Coal miners came out in force this week to protest Obama administration regulations that could force hundreds of coal plants and coal mines to shut down in the coming years.

The United Mine Workers of America was quick to lambast Obama’s global warming agenda, but have stayed silent on news that Kentucky’s Democratic Senate candidate may not actually support the coal industry.

Project Veritas, a group started by video journalist James O’Keefe, released undercover video footage showing supporters and staffers of Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes saying her support for coal was less than sincere.

UMWA did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment about its support for Grimes in light of the newly released videos.

Grimes has gone to great efforts to show her support for coal, even distancing herself from President Obama’s climate agenda. But Project Veritas’s new video footage shows her supporters and staffers saying her support for coal is a political move designed to get elected. Once she’s in office, they say, she will go along with the environmental left.

“She’s saying something positive about coal because she wants to be elected,” Grimes campaign staffer Ros Hines was caught saying by an undercover videographer. “And in the state of Kentucky, if you are anti-coal, you will not get elected, period, end of conversation.”

“She has to say that,” Juanita Rodriguez with the Warren County Democratic Party said on tape. “But you know what? Politics is a game. You do what you have to do to get [elected]. … It’s a lying game unfortunately.”

“I really don’t think her heart is 100 percent in backing coal,” Rodriguez added. “But she has to say she is because she will not get a high number of votes in this state if she doesn’t. But she’s got to get in there first and she’s gonna say whatever she has to say or do. And that’s the way the political game is played.”

UMWA officially backed Grimes in August, citing her support for coal and, especially, those who mine coal. UMWA President Cecil Roberts said Grimes “cares about their health and safety on the job” and about “what happens to them once they retire after a career of dangerous, backbreaking work.”

UMWA has given $25,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee this election cycle. The DSCC has in turn given $45,400 to Gimes, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

But if Grimes were to turn on coal once she was elected into office, she would not be the first Democrat to buck coal miner support. UMWA was jilted by President Obama after having supported his 2008 presidential campaign.

UMWA supported Obama despite his remarks that his energy policies would “bankrupt” coal-fired power plant owners.

“So, if somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can — it’s just that it will bankrupt them, because they are going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted,” Obama told the San Francisco Chronicle.

“Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket, regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad, because I’m capping greenhouse gases,” Obama added. “Coal power plants, natural gas, whatever the industry was, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money onto consumers.”

The coal miners union opted not to support Obama in his 2012 reelection campaign as coal plants and mines were being shut down by federal environmental regulators. Though UMWA never supported Obama’s 2012 Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

The Grimes campaign has hit back against the videos, calling them “blatantly false” distortions by their opponent Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican.

“These blatantly false videos from discredited con artist James O’Keefe are nothing more than desperate distortions from Mitch McConnell and his billionaire backers,” campaign spokesman Charly Norton told the Bangor Daily News. “The fact that McConnell’s campaign relies on a convicted criminal with a known history of absurd and deceptive projects is telling as McConnell attempts to make this race about anything but the loss of 25,000 coal jobs on his watch.”

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