PRESTONSBURG – Former President Bill Clinton visited Prestonsburg on Thursday to campaign for his wife, Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton. As he arrived at Prestonsburg Elementary, Clinton was greeted by coal miners and their families holding signs telling him to go home. Eastern Kentucky is an area devastated by the Obama administration’s push for harsh EPA guidelines on the coal industry and cleaner burning fuel. The former president also received “boos” from a small group at the back once the speech began inside the grade school auditorium.
Current campaign advertisements show Hillary Clinton’s comments about the coal industry back in March as advocating for the destruction of coal jobs. When speaking at a town hall forum in Ohio, Hillary Clinton said she was going to “put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” She later explained that her words were taken out of context. Bill Clinton spoke that his wife has been a long supporter of the coal industry for decades.
During Bill Clinton’s speech, he promised that if Hillary Clinton is elected he will head up her efforts to bring retraining, new jobs and investments into distressed areas such as the coalfields of Appalachia. He also stated that the coal industry is going away due to low natural gas costs and the harder-to-reach seams of coal no matter who is president.
Andrea Saddler is a reporter for The Floyd County Times. She can be reached at (606) 886-8506.