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UPDATE: Pro coal group sends letter to President Obama

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

WASHINGTON D.C. (WYMT) - Hundreds of Democrats are asking President Obama to change his stance on coal.

More than 400 Democrats, including many in Kentucky, wrote a letter to the President. They are asking him to use coal in future energy policies.

Some of the elected officials from sixteen states say they are taking a stand against their own political party in favor of coal.

"The purpose of getting together is try to get one voice to the White House for the support of coal," said Rep. Rick Nelson (D-87th District).

Hundreds of Democrats representing city, county, state, and federal offices formed "CoalBlue Project." They call it a group to encourage the White House to use coal in energy policies.

"I'm very disappointed, to be quite frank with you, their direction on coal. Their direction on coal has really hurt our area," said Rep. Nelson.

"It just makes sense to me if you're going to build a manufacturing economy in this country, it ought to be powered by American coal," said Adam Edelen (D), Kentucky State Auditor.

On Wednesday, the group sent a letter to President Obama in favor of coal. It has 410 signatures.

"To get the President to change his policies that are having a negative effect on our ability to employ people in the coal industry," Edelen said. "Make it clear to the President that there are a strong number of people in the democratic party who believe coal should be at the center of any national energy policy," Edelen continued.

TECO coal officials saw the letter on Thursday and say they are glad for support from both sides of the political aisle.

"The more that American people realize the impacts of cost of energy, I think it will force both sides to work together," said Dave Blankenship with TECO Coal.

Coal officials we talked to say they are not sure what kind of impact the letter will have in Washington D.C.

"You know the saying, every journey starts with the first step," said Blankenship.

Coal Blue members say this is their first step and say they have more projects planned.

You can see a copy of the letter and who signed it on the document links at the bottom of the article.


Lawmakers and officials in 16 states are letting President Obama know how they feel about his new clean energy agenda and how it affects people in coal country.

Members of the CoalBlue Project sent Mr. Obama a letter on Wednesday, proposing they work together to advance policies that would accelerate the development and deployment of sustainable coal.

You can see a copy of the letter with all the signatures from lawmakers and officials and the official release from CoalBlue at the bottom of the page.

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