Illinois is coal country, and the Republican running for U. S. Senate thinks the current administration is not doing enough to recognize that. State Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove), who is trying to unseat three-term incumbent U. S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), visited a Springfield-area coal mine to learn more about the industry and pledge to do a better job for it if elected.
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“Our administration is doing everything they can to destroy the coal industry,” Oberweis said, “because they don't think it's the environmentally best approach. I happen to believe it's not a good idea to dramatically increase the cost of energy for hardworking middle-class families in America.”
He found a friendly audience in leaders at Arch Coal's Viper mine at Williamsville. The mine's safety manager, Brad Kauffman, said the Obama administration is engaging in an “open war on coal.” Kauffman and the mine have something to brag about: 510,000 man-hours, and counting, without a reportable accident. That's almost ten months.