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Coal Lobby Launches Ad Ahead of Debate Coal Lobby Launches Ad Ahead of Debate

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Coal Lobby Launches Ad Ahead of Debate

With Mitt Romney and President Obama courting voters in coal battleground states like Ohio and Virginia, one of the industry's most powerful interest groups is launching a new ad campaign Wednesday that encourages viewers to vote against Obama, though it doesn't mention either the president or Romney by name.

"Our current leadership in Washington has taken us down ... a path paved by heavy handed EPA regulations," the ad says over pictures of the White House and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The ad, sponsored by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, portrays coal as the "bedrock of our economic progress" and encourages Americans to vote to "send leaders to Washington who will build the future on a solid foundation."

"It's time to return to the energy road that made America great," the narrator says toward the end of the two-minute ad (30-second and 1-minute versions are also running). "Your vote is your voice. Now is the time to make it heard."

The ad, called "Home Field Advantage," will run until Election Day on national cable networks with extra air time in battleground, coal states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. ACCCE also has sponsored election coverage on CNN and Fox Business, said ACCCE spokeswoman Lisa Camooso Miller.

The campaign, timed for the first presidential debate on Wednesday, is part of ACCCE's $35 million election-year effort. 

Both Obama and Romney have been running advertisements in recent weeks criticizing each other for not supporting coal miners.

Despite all the political hoopla over lost coal-mining jobs, Commerce Department data shows that coal mining jobs are actually up 6.5 percent over the last eight years. But projections show a 3.8 percent decline between 2010 and 2020.

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