Will Barack Obama "bankrupt the coal industry"?

Barack Obama's not-exactly-brilliant opponents are once again setting themselves up for failure as they have so many times in the past. The latest example is the claim that Obama will "bankrupt the coal industry", which doesn't appear to be completely accurate. [1]

And, because that claim isn't 100% accurate, what's going to happen is what's happened before: "fact check" sites and the mainstream media are going to use the fact that it isn't 100% accurate to negate the entire claim and obscure the fact that it might be partly true. (See my list of stupid things Obama's opponents do).

After the "fact checkers" do their thing, Obama's supporters at blogs, Digg, etc. are going to spread those "fact checks" around and use them at a retail level against anyone in the affected states who might otherwise be swayed.

It's all pretty sad, but I can't do everything. And, in this case I don't know anything about the coal industry so I can't come up with something that would work.

See the link above for the full quote, including this:

So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted.

Someone who's a recognized expert on coal needs to come up with a completely fact-based analysis of the impact that Obama's plans would have on the industry, and then boil that down to a one-sentence, completely factual summary together with a series of footnotes. If you aren't an expert, look up university professors in coal-producing areas and send them emails asking for their thoughts.

Is that really so difficult? Yes, apparently it is.

11/3/08 UPDATE: This is currently the #3 story on Digg (all sections) with 2695 diggs: digg.com/2008_us_elections/Palin_Spreads_False_News_Report

People don't think ahead and make sure they're saying something that's 100% defensible, and that leaves an opening for the MSM to try to smack down the whole story.

[1] The audio is from an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle from January 17, 2008; Carla Marinucci summarized it, leaving out all the shocking bits.

My suspicions about the claim are raised by the fact that the audio where he makes the claims is from NakedEmperorNews, a source which was behind the wealth redistribution audio and others, and a source that I don't consider very credible. Needless to say, the video (link) has a long, inflammatory title: "SHOCK Audio Unearthed OBAMA TELLS SAN FRANCISCO HE WILL BANKRUPT THE COAL INDUSTRY".

Can't we do better than this?


Obama's social experiment ... or, should I say Socialist experiment, will bring America to it's knees! America has more coal than any other country in the world. Coal is one of America's greatest natural resources, and our most abundant source of fuel. Our economy and our National Security is extremely intertwined with coal. We should be supporting and promoting clean coal. The thought that Obama would possibly bankrupt our coal industry is scary. Obama's 20 year history of embracing radical ideas, radical people and radical change to our country allows this candidate with virtually no experience, to gamble with our constitution, our economy, our national security, and our future. Keep America safe and prosperous, ... Elect McCain/Palin on November 4th !!!

To say that "Obama says he will bankrupt the coal industry" is a misrepresentation is purely semantics. Whether he does it directly, through taxation, or indirectly, through taxation of "greenhouse gassess emitted" -- he WILL be responsible, along with Congress, for bankrupting the coal industry (and any other applicable industry). Kiss your affordable electricity goodbye -- 57% percent of US electricity comes from coal.