Romnesia Spreads to Paul Ryan as He Forgets Romney’s ‘Coal Kills’ Record

Last updated on February 8th, 2013 at 08:40 pm

Paul Ryan was stumping for his ticket in at campaign rally Saturday in Moon Township, Pennsylvania when he attacked President Obama’s record on coal as part of the Romney campaign’s “Pennsylvania crush”. Speaking to a few hundred supporters, Ryan said, “He’ll keep his war on coal going. Not only are these policies wrong, they are keeping us from having a boom. They are keeping us from having jobs.”

Paul Ryan must have Romnesia. This is bad news, because it means Romnesia is, indeed, contagious. For those inoculated, Ryan’s running mate Mitt Romney said coal kills back when he espoused the dangers of acid rain. Standing in front of coal plant, Romney said, “That plant kills people.” He then regulated carbon dioxide.

Here’s Mitt Romney saying coal kills in 2003:

Danny Kanner, campaign spokesman for Obama for America, came back with, “Congressman Ryan either doesn’t know his running mate’s record or he’s just not telling the truth about it. As Governor, Mitt Romney said a coal-fired plant ‘kills people’ and touted his power plant regulations as the ‘toughest in the nation.'”

This is true.

Just after he (Romney) took office, in 2003, he had attended a news conference at Salem Harbor, Mass., vowing to close an aged coal-fired power plant and declaring: ‘That plant kills people.’ His administration went to work on what would become the nation’s first regulations on the emission of carbon dioxide, and helped launch negotiations on a Northeast regional compact to curb greenhouse-gas emissions.” [Wall Street Journal, 11/11/11]

Furthermore, Romney used the exact same coal plants as the Bad Guy in 2003 for failing to meet Massachusetts clean air standards. He said “Massachusetts was under siege from ‘acid rain and air pollution from the Midwest’ and that it ‘would be wrong, even hypocritical’ not to pursue upgrades to ‘antiquated coal combustion technologies.'” Now, Romney calls those same emissions standards that he was calling for a “war on coal”.

If Romney really believed that coal killed in 2003, what are we to make of his latest policy of let them do whatever they want? Is he saying that he now doesn’t care if coal kills Americans — have at it coal, because he’s being funded by the Appalachian Koch brothers?

Kanner pointed out that coal jobs are at a 15 year high, “But under President Obama, employment in coal mining hit a 15 year high in 2011 while he’s making historic investments in clean coal research and development.”

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan don’t want to explain that their energy policy was written by oil and gas industry executives, so they couch their policy gifts of further deregulation in obscure “jobs” language. No one ever asks them how deregulation, which leads to offshoring and outsourcing, actually works to create jobs here, in the United States instead of Romney’s preferred labor market of China.

Romney promises to create 12 million jobs, which is the exact amount economists predict will be created if we do nothing but continue at the current recovery. But Romney/Ryan also believes that government can’t create jobs. This is Ryan’s excuse for voting no on Obama’s jobs bills, so it’s anyone’s guess as to how their base can buy a promise that flies in the face of their championed laissez-faire economic policies.

Perhaps Republicans love that Romney is running on the issue of our time by claiming, “I will do nothing about jobs. Laissez-faire!” Somehow that’s not as appealing, especially when contrasted with President Obama’s Bedford Falls vision of America where we pass laws to encourage manufacturing here in the U.S. and hard work is rewarded while the rich pay their fair share.

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan can’t talk about their jobs plan because they don’t have one, unless you call doubling down on Bush’s trickle down tax cuts and deregulation a jobs plan — in which case, please go explain to the workers at Sensata just how that’s working out. So instead, Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney will continue spreading Romnesia to as many people as possible.

Beware the Republican tea.

Image: Photo Credit Jenna Staul

Sarah Jones

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