Rhetoric from both sides has to stop in order to find solutions for coal industry, Rep. Combs says

06/15/2014 02:58 PM

Phrases like “the war on coal” have to go as politicians seek to find solutions for the declining industry in the state, according to state Representative Leslie Combs, D-Pikeville.

Combs, who represents Harlan, Pike and Letcher counties in eastern Kentucky, said all elected officials in the state need to stop using the phrase “war on coal” and start sitting down to save the industry.

“We ought to stop using that phrase because by using that statement and using that rhetoric and just combating one another politically, we aren’t solving the problem,” Combs said. “I wanna solve the problem for coal and find a future for coal.”

As the issue takes center stage in the Kentucky U.S. Senate race, Combs said if Kentucky U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell had been fighting for the coal industry during his nearly thirty years in Washington then the state would not be hurting as badly.

The eastern Kentucky representative added that the arguments made by McConnell against Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes are unwarranted and explained to Pure Politics that Grimes was in Floyd county on Friday meeting with miners.

“She is actually going through deep mines, she is actually talking to miners, she’s trying to learn more about what we can do and how we can fix it,” Combs said (at 4:00). “And then she is actually having a meeting there at the Mountain Arts Center in Floyd county to bring people in, to bring people who have been displaced from their mining jobs to say ‘okay sit down, lets talk. What can we do about the coal industry?’”

Combs said what she believes should come next for the industry is looking at other ways to expand Kentucky’s energy portfolio while continuing to make coal a partner to other energy sources.


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