Which candidate has the best position on coal and coal mining? Neither, says Jeff Biggers, in a CNN commentary. “Both candidates are on the wrong side,” writes Biggers, author of The United States of Appalachia. “In one of the sorriest panders for votes, invoking a 20th century pound-on-the-chest lie that coal means jobs, neither candidate is brave enough to come clean and offer himself as the messenger for a 21st century vision for the coalfields of central Appalachia.”

Yes, Biggers says, both McCain and Obama have hinted they oppose mountaintop removal mining (where mountains in the east are flat-topped in order to remove the coal). Both have set up “clean coal” coalitions or task forces to push greater use of the mineral. Biggers said promises for “clean coal” are a “a cruel ruse. Neither candidate, if asked, could honestly tell the American public about the feasibility or implementation date for a carbon capture and storage plan for coal-fired plants on a nationwide utility scale, the projected cost (most likely in the trillions), or the actual safety ramifications. Because no one knows.”

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