By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
President Barack Hussein Obama has launched a war on coal that threatens thousands of Alabama jobs and could increase the rates of Alabama Power customers. While the coal industry is powerless to change the President, they hope that they can have some influence who sits on the Alabama Public Commission (PSC). On Tuesday, May 20 the Alabama Coal Association announced their endorsements of Chip Beeker and Jeremy Oden for PSC Place 2 and place 1 in the Republican Primary on June 3.
Alabama Coal Association President George Barber said in a written statement, “The Public Service Commission is one of the most important regulatory bodies in Alabama. Every home and every business in Alabama relies on the men and women elected to the PSC to protect their interest and their hard earned money. While Obama and his allies have brought the War on Coal to Alabama Commissioner Oden and Chip Beeker have pledged to be advocates for the ratepayers,” said Alabama Coal Association President George Barber. “Obama’s War on Coal will raise the utility bills of everyone in Alabama if we don’t stop it. And that’s why we need Jeremy Oden and Chip Beeker on the Public Service Commission,” Barber concluded.
Beeker is running in a crowded field that includes incumbent PSC Place 2 Commissioner Terry Dunn, Jonathan Barbee, and Phillip Brown.
Chip Beeker said in a written statement: “Yesterday, I was endorsed by the Alabama Coal Association. I am extremely proud to have their support. As the representatives of 16,000 coal workers, they understand the overreach of federal government as much as anyone. If elected, I pledge to fight to protect Alabama’s coal jobs from Obama’s radical EPA.”
Barber said, “Chip Beeker is a man of principle who will be a great addition to the Alabama Public Service Commission. He will fight against Obama and his allies War on Coal. He will stand with the hardworking men and women of the coal industry.”
In Place 1, the Alabama Coal Association endorsed incumbent PSC Commissioner Jeremy Oden (R) over challenger Kathy Peterson.
George Barber said, “Special interests from California have made their interest known to shut down Alabama’s coal mines and drive up energy costs for every household and business. With over 16,000 families relying on jobs related to the coal industry we need honest and hardworking commissioners who will stand up to, not cozy up to these special interests.” “Commissioner Oden has shown that he is a friend of the coal industry. He has stood up against the liberal special interest who seek to destroy our jobs and drive up our energy prices.”
Commissioner Oden said in a written statement, “I just wanted to give you an update of our campaign. Things are moving along great right now thanks to the support of people across Alabama. I’ve have enjoyed traveling from Mobile to Huntsville and everywhere in between over the last few months; this has been an experience I wouldn’t trade for the world. Alabama is an absolutely beautiful state filled with talented, accomplished and caring people. I’ve been constantly reminded of what a great state we live in and I consider myself blessed to live and serve such a wonderful community.”
Commissioner Oden continued, “Also, last night I won my 3rd straight straw poll with 76% of the vote at the Protect Pike County Values Rally. The other two straw polls I have won were at the Jefferson County GOP Rally and the Autauga County Candidate Forum. I always appreciate each vote I receive and a straw poll is no different. With only 14 days until the Primary election, these straw poll victories are great encouragement while on the campaign trail.”
The Alabama Coal Association is comprised of Alabama companies that represents over 16,000 Alabama workers.
The Republican Primary is June 3.