September 30, 2012

Video credit to Think Progress via the NYT.

Update: Obama for America is using the footage in this video in an ad circulating in southeast Ohio to push back on Mitt Romney's messaging on coal:

“Seen these new ads where Mitt Romney says he’s a friend of country?” the ad says, showing a clip of Romney’s advertising. “This is the guy who wants to keep tax breaks for companies that ship American jobs overseas.”


One of the first issues Mr. Romney and Mr. Foy tackled involved an aging coal plant in Salem that was spewing dirty particulates and was required by state regulations to clean up by 2004. The plant’s owner wanted extra time. The governor said no; three weeks into his administration, he denounced the company at a news conference.

“He strongly wanted to clean up the air,” said Eric Kriss, who founded the private equity firm Bain Capital with Mr. Romney and followed him to the Statehouse to become finance secretary. The governor and his entourage drove to Salem, where Mr. Romney confronted angry pickets — coal workers who said he was costing them their jobs.

“I will not create jobs or hold jobs that kill people,” Mr. Romney thundered. “And that plant, that plant kills people.”

Of course, Mitt Romney never did follow through and see to it that the coal plant cleaned up the air, nor did he ever sign on to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

Massachusetts did later join RGGI when Deval Patrick succeeded Romney as governor, and it went on to create 16,000 regional jobs and pump $1.6 billion into the economy, according to a November 2011 report by the Analysis Group, a Boston consultancy.

Then within three years, RGGI states had reduced C02 by a whopping 23 percent:

Average annual CO2 emissions for the three-year period were 126 million short tons, a 23 percent reduction when compared to the preceding three-year period, 2006-2008. Three-year average electricity consumption across the ten-state region declined only moderately, by 2.4 percent, between the same periods, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

CO2 emissions were collectively reduced to 33 percent below the annual pollution cap of 188 million short tons.

Aside from Romneycare, it seems Mitt Romney's decision not to seek re-election as Governor was the best thing he did for the people of Massachusetts.

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