Both Republican Mike Pence and Democrat Tim Kaine performed well during their televised debate Tuesday night. But Pence performed a big public service by hammering on the war on coal being waged by President Barack Obama and which presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wants to intensify.
Three or four times during the debate, which covered many issues of domestic and foreign policy, Pence used the words “war on coal.”
His goal was to remind voters that his running mate, presidential candidate Donald Trump, wants to end the Obama-Clinton assault on the fossil fuels that supply affordable energy to Americans.
But many Americans simply do not care about a “war on coal.” What’s it to them if a few thousand miners lose their jobs and entire state economies are devastated?
It is more critical than that. One-third of Americans rely on coal for their electricity. Another one-third get power from plants fired by natural gas. Clinton makes no bones about her plans to wreck the coal-fired power industry.
She is more circumspect about gas, though it should be clear to any objective observer she plans to see the Environmental Protection Agency wrecking crew against that industry, too.
The bottom line is that if Clinton has her way, electric bills will increase dramatically for most Americans. We are not talking a few cents a month, but perhaps as much as $1,000 a year.
Clinton claims to be a defender of the poor and downtrodden. But think about the effect of substantially higher electric bills on millions of low- or fixed-income families. What, one wonders, will they do without to keep the lights and the heat on?
If Pence’s performance Tuesday night causes more voters to question just what the war on coal and the undeclared one on natural gas means to them, it will be a very good thing. So kudos to him for repeating the phrase over and over again. Now, he and Trump ought to move on to explaining the devastating effect Clinton’s energy plans will have on most people who will vote Nov. 8.