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As we've noted already today, West Virginia Republican Senate candidate John Raese has gone to great lengths to depict Democrat Joe Manchin as anti-coal. The coal industry seems to disagree, as the West Virginia Coal Association threw its support to the governor today. From the release:

“I am honored to have received the endorsement of the Coal Association,” said Governor Manchin.  “Throughout my time in office, one of my top priorities has been to ensure that our coal industry continues to lead the way to our future energy independence; that is why I have repeatedly stood up to the Obama administration’s cap and trade proposal that would cripple this vital piece of our economy.  I want to thank President Bill Raney, Chairman Gary White and all the members of the Coal Association who have chosen to join the Chamber of Commerce, the National Rifle Association and others in endorsing my candidacy.”

John Raese is lying to West Virginia voters in his latest campaign ad when he claims that Manchin supports cap and trade.  Joe Manchin has led the fight against the Obama cap and trade agenda because he knows it would cripple the coal industry that is so vital to our economy.  The Alternative and Renewable Energy Act of 2009 that was passed by the West Virginia Legislature is designed to ensure that coal and natural gas retain their integral roles in leading our nation toward energy independence by classifying them as alternative energy, meaning that all the goals of the legislation can be met solely through coal and natural gas production.

“Joe Manchin has spent his entire career standing up for the coal industry, our coal miners and its importance to West Virginia’s economy, which is why the Coal Association endorsed him today,” said Lara Ramsburg, Manchin campaign spokeswoman.  “This follows the endorsements of the National Rifle Association and the West Virginia and US Chambers of Commerce that demonstrate that the Governor’s record of fighting for this state’s hardworking families is more important to voters than John Raese’s history of putting profits above people.”

And the always helpful state Democratic Party chimes in as well:

“I don’t believe John Raese ever thought he’d get into this situation,” said West Virginia Democratic Party Chairman Larry Puccio. “Both the coal companies, and the United Mine Workers, have endorsed Governor Manchin based on his proven track record and their confidence in him to continue to fight for West Virginia in Washington.  I’m curious to see how John Raese will respond to the citizens of West Virginia after misleading the public with his high dollar TV ads about Joe Manchin and coal. ”

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