Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and his opponent, Lextington Mayor Jim Grey, both made stops on Thursday across Western Kentucky. The two talked with voters on a number of issues including the shrinking coal industry.
“What I know is that there’s troubles today, there’s stress today, there’s economic anxiety today,” said Grey. “And we need to address that. We need a senator who is going to focus on Kentucky.”
The importance of bring coal mining jobs back to Kentucky is something both Grey and Senator Paul can agree, but the path to those jobs is entirely different.
“I don’t think you can be a friend of coal or a friend of Kentucky if you’re a friend of Hillary Clinton,” said Senator Paul. “Grey is supporting someone who says she’s gonna put the coal miners out of work.”
For Grey, it’s all about the 4 point plan.
“4 point plan is all about infrastructure and innovation,” said Grey. “It’s all about training and retraining, and it’s protecting people’s pensions.”
Carbon capture and sequestration are scientific methods that Grey says will help create jobs in coal mining.
“Many will say that it’s too expensive, that it hasn’t been proven,” said Grey. “But lets think about it. The last 50 years, especially in America, new technologies have been developed that we didn’t imagine could be developed before.”
“But people are always lamenting the loss of American jobs especially manufacturing jobs,” said Senator Paul. “This is a natural resource. United States sits on more coal than any other country, and we’re just gonna leave it in the ground and not use our resource. We’re actually importing coal from other countries.”
But Senator Paul insists that supporting the Clinton campaign is not the answer.
“We’ve lost 15,000 jobs in the coal industry because of President Barack Obama’s war on coal,” said Senator Paul. “He said he would bankrupt coal. Now, Hillary Clinton’s saying we’re gonna put you out of business. I just don’t know how anybody could even run for office who says they’re gonna support them because they’re against everything in Kentucky that would be good for us.”
“I think it’s time that we quit pointing the finger of blame,” said Greay. “And I think it’s time we take responsibility and we say. We’re gonna deal with the current conditions.”
It appears as though the two will have to agree to disagree when it comes to the coal industry. One thing is clear, the fate of Kentucky miners may be in the hands of its voters.