FACT CHECK: Sherrod Brown Supports Coal Jobs

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FACT CHECK: Sherrod Brown Supports Coal Jobs

JOSH CLAIMS: Sherrod Brown is waging a war on coal that is shutting down power plants and killing jobs.

THE TRUTH: Sherrod Brown supports a comprehensive energy security strategy—which includes clean coal.

1. Ohio coal production and employment have increased since 2007. [Ohio DNR]

2. The coal industry has been most affected by the increased availability and lower costs of natural gas. [Bloomberg Business Week, 5/22/12]

3. Sherrod Brown led the fight to ensure that efforts to reduce pollution do not jeopardize energy-intensive industries like manufacturing. [The Hill, 10/1/09]

4. Sherrod Brown Sided With The Coal Industry Over President Obama On Regulations For New Or Upgraded Coal Power Plants And Factories. [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 3/1/11]

5. Sherrod Brown voted against the Cap and Trade Bill. [CQ; Vote 145, 6/6/08]

6. Sherrod Brown voted for tax credits for wind, solar, clean coal and biofuels, which passed the Senate 93-2. [CQ; Vote 205, 9/23/08; Passed, 93-2]

Brown Organized A Job Fair With Chesapeake Energy For Oil And Natural Gas Job Opportunities.  In April 2012, the Canton Repository reported “More than 1,200 people looking for an opportunity lined up Thursday morning inside and outside University Center at Kent State University Stark Campus for a job fair organized by Chesapeake and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown.” [Canton Repository, 4/5/12]

Brown Voted For Tax Credits For Wind, Solar, Clean Coal And Biofuels Which Passed the Senate  93-2. In September 2008, Senator Brown voted for passage of the bill that would extend dozens of expired or expiring tax provisions, including the research tax credit, deductions for tuition and education expenses, and deductions for sales tax in states without income taxes. It would extend several energy tax credits, including those for wind and solar power, clean coal and biofuels. It also would provide tax relief for victims of natural disasters in the Midwest, Texas and Louisiana. It would provide a one-year adjustment to exempt 22 million taxpayers from paying the alternative minimum tax on income from 2008, and require private insurance plans to put mental health benefits on par with other medical benefits. The tax cuts would be partially offset by a number of revenue-raising provisions, including extending an oil spill tax, changing the rules for taxing deferred compensation and freezing a deduction for the sale of oil and natural gas. [CQ; Vote 205, 9/23/08; Passed, 93-2]

Sen. Brown Sided With The Coal Industry Over President Obama On Regulations For New Or Upgraded Coal Power Plants And Factories. In March 2011, The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that both Sen. Brown and the coal industry “are trying in their own ways to stop President Barack Obama’s administration from imposing rules this year on new or upgraded power plants and large factories that use coal. And both said they are taking the actions because the rules would hurt Ohio manufacturers and consumers.”  [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 3/1/11]

Brown Voted Against Cap And Trade Bill.  In June 2008, Senator Brown voted against a motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Boxer, D-Calif., substitute amendment no. 4825 that would cap greenhouse gas emissions nationwide and set up a trading system for companies to buy and sell emissions allowances. [CQ; Vote 145, 6/6/08]

Sen. Brown:  Cap And Trade Won’t Get Midwestern Votes Unless Manufacturing Is A Major Component.  In October 2009, The Hill wrote “Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.) released a draft of their legislation Wednesday, and already Brown has won a few battles. But he and senators from Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Indiana and Michigan say there’s still work to be done. Leaving their concerns unanswered could derail one of the Obama administration’s highest priorities. ‘They understand a couple big things about this,’ Brown said of Boxer and Kerry during a sit-down interview with The Hill. ‘They don’t get the votes from Midwestern industrial-state senators unless manufacturing is a major component of this.’”  [The Hill, 10/1/09]

Sen. Brown Teamed Up With The Business Community To Protect The Interests Of Manufacturing Companies During The Climate Change Debate.  In October 2009, The Hill wrote “While Brown is a solid supporter of labor unions, he has teamed up with the business community to protect the interests of manufacturing companies in the climate change debate. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) wrote a letter to Brown last week endorsing his proposal to set up a $30 billion Manufacturing Revolving Loan Fund to help small- and medium-sized businesses restructure their production lines for a new economic landscape. But Brown says protecting manufacturers is a necessary step to protect workers.  ‘Climate change has to be substantively a jobs bill and has to be sold as a jobs bill,’ said Brown.”  [The Hill, 10/1/09]

Year Production in Tons Avg. Employment Source
2010 28,364,000 2,879 Ohio DNR
2009 27,324,521 2,858 Ohio DNR
2008 26,035,593 2,657 Ohio DNR
2007 22,283,072 2,204 Ohio DNR