When it comes to presidential politics, nothing is more sacred than coal in coal country. And the Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton got a taste of that when she trooped through southern West Virginia — the heart of Appalachia’s coal fields.
At issue were the remarks she had previously made about how “we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business” — comments that were taken out of context during the political season. What Clinton had gone to say during that question-and-answer session is that those lost jobs must be reconstituted through public investment.
“What I was saying is that the way things are going now, we will continue to lose jobs,” Clinton said Monday, as quoted by the Associated Press. “That’s what I meant to say, and I think that that seems to be supported by the facts. I didn’t mean that we were going to do it, what I said was, that is going to happen unless we take action to try to and help and prevent it.”
Clinton has proposed a $30 billion package to help reclaim the lands in coal country as well as to retrain workers there. But she has been part of the Obama administration, which coal country has voted against and which has enacted regulations to curb coal use. In 2012 and 2014, West Virginia voted against Obama and voted overwhelming Republican, respectively. However, the state also twice voted for President Bill Clinton.