MARIETTA, Ohio (CNN) – Campaigning in coal country just two days before the presidential election, Sarah Palin is highlighting an interview Barack Obama gave to the San Francisco Chronicle in January in which the Democrat suggested coal plants would be bankrupted by his cap-and-trade proposal.
Audio of Obama’s comments began bubbling up on major conservative blogs over the last 24 hours, and Palin wondered why voters were only now hearing about the remarks. The insinuation that the Chronicle had been hiding the coal comments from the public brought about shouts of “Liberal media!” from the crowd.
“Why is the audio tape just now surfacing?,” Palin asked. “This interview was given to San Francisco folks many, many months ago. You should have known about this, so that you would have better decision-making information as you go into the voting booth.”
Contrary to her attempts to portray a media cover-up, audio and video recordings of Obama’s January 17 sit-down with the Chronicle editorial board have been freely available online for more than nine months.
In the interview, Obama said that his “aggressive” cap-and-trade plan would charge polluters for every unit of carbon or greenhouse gas they emit, a plan that would render polluting coal plants financially unviable.
“So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can,” he said. “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.”
In the interview, Obama also made the case for alternative energy sources, adding that he does not believe coal production will be eliminated, and that he supports carbon capture and sequestration technologies.
John McCain also supports a market-based cap-and-trade proposal to reduce carbon emissions.
Regardless, Palin sought to use Obama’s words against him in a part of the country where coal has long been king.
“He said that, sure, if the industry wants to build coal-fired power plants, then they can go ahead and try, he says, but they can do it only in a way that will bankrupt the coal industry, and he's comfortable letting that happen.”