Coal supporters barred from Obama campaign rallies

Michael Bastasch | Contributor

The Obama-Biden campaign hasn’t exactly been rolling out the red carpet for clean coal advocates.

The Washington Examiner reports that clean coal supporters had t-shirts, hats and signs taken as they went through security at a Virginia rally for Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday, while others said they were prevented from entering the rally after an official who had previously confiscated the shirts said the event was private.

At a Bowling Green, Ohio, rally for President Barack Obama on Wednesday, clean coal supporters wearing their t-shirts and hats were asked to leave, which was filmed by both their video tracker and by an event video tracker.

Lisa Camooso Miller, vice president for media relations for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, told the Examiner that restrictions on coal advocates have “been going on for months.”

She added that “ours is an issue awareness campaign. We bracket both Romney and Obama with street teams. We do it everywhere but 2012 was the first time we’ve been told we can’t do it.”

ACCCE was reportedly bewildered by these actions because they have been pressing both the Romney and Obama campaigns to support high tech coal plants.

In photos the group provided to the Examiner, an event worker is shown collecting clean coal t-shirts, and that worker also called the public rally a “private event” in a video.

Last week, a conservative University of Florida student in a McCain t-shirt war barred from entering an on-campus event for first lady Michelle Obama, which an organizing aide said was just for supporters.

President Obama has voiced his support for clean coal and an “all-of-the-above” energy policy, though he only added clean coal to his campaign website after being criticized by the media and Republicans.

“Some folks want wind and solar. Others want nuclear, clean coal and natural gas. To meet this goal, we will need them all — and I urge Democrats and Republicans to work together to make it happen,” Obama said in his 2011 State of the Union address.

Obama even launched an ad against Romney for a 2003 press conference in which Romney said that coal “kills people.”

However, the Obama administration’s environmental policies have been heavily criticized and seen as waging a “war on coal.”

“Since taking office, the Obama Administration has waged a multi-front war on coal – on coal jobs, on the small businesses in the mining supply chain, and on the low-cost energy that millions of Americans rely upon,” said Washington Republican Rep. Doc Hastings.

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