President Obama is taking heat from another prominent fellow Democrat over his energy policies.
On Thursday, North Dakota Senate candidate Democrat Heidi Heitkamp said at a North Dakota Chamber of Commerce forum that she would tell the President, “You’re wrong on energy… You’re headed in the wrong direction. You made bad decisions… You promised that you would promote clean coal technologies, that you would be a champion of coal, and you haven’t done it.”
Heitkamp also said that Obama should fire Lisa Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Energy Secretary Steven Chu. Heitkamp indicated that she considers Jackson insufficiently open to a diversity of opinion on energy matters.
Democratic Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has previously knocked Obama for his track record on energy policy, refusing to pledge to vote for Obama this November.
According to the Faces of Coal campaign, approximately 98 percent of West Virginia’s power comes from coal. Manchin says that many West Virginians believe that Obama administration policies have been unduly harsh on the state.
The Obama campaign itself seems to have recognized that its coal policies are having a negative impact on the President’s re-election fortunes. In addition to heavily deploying former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland on the campaign trail to make the case that the administration has not, in fact, been leading a “war on coal” as Republicans allege, the campaign has also been running ads on the critical state of Ohio attempting to depict Mitt Romney as anti-coal.
Romney, meanwhile, has been hammering Obama for his coal policies, echoing many of the same concerns that underlie Heitkamp’s comments.