About Todd Gunter

Todd Gunter is a government and political professional based in Charleston, West Virginia. Mr. Gunter serves on Governor Romney's WV steering committee and was recently an At-Large Delegate to the Republican National Covention in Tampa, Florida. His areas of interest include coal and gun rights, among other issues important to his native Appalachia.

Coal Miners are Mobilizing for Mitt Romney

Last week, in my first post here at MRC, I wrote about Mitt Romney’s two coal ads and how they accurately depicted the war we are waging here in Appalachia against President Obama and his EPA. I described those ads as heart wrenching, and I’m not afraid to admit they brought a tear to my eye. It breaks my heart to see so many of my neighbors struggling simply because our current President hates coal.

This week, we learned that the Obama campaign has been targeting coal supporters at rallies. In Virginia, Obama staffers confiscated pro-coal signs and hats worn by folks at a Joe Biden rally. And at a rally for Barack Obama in Ohio, coal supporters were banned from the event altogether. Banned? He had people banned because they support coal? Yes. He. Did.

The Romney campaign released a new ad today targeted at coal country. Let me tell you, if the one last week pulled at my heart strings, this one fires me up! We are sick and tired of fighting our federal government, which by the way, is supposed to help, not hurt, create jobs. The new ad, titled “Bankrupt”, reminds voters in Appalachia of Obama’s 2008 campaign promise that under his energy plan “…if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant they can, it’s just that it will bankrupt them.” You heard that right; here we have an American president promising to bankrupt an industry. Has there ever been a politician so brazen to brag he’ll bankrupt an industry and kill jobs? Not that I can remember. The ad goes on to explain that China has no problem taking our jobs and burning our coal. The spot closes with “Mr. President let us keep our jobs. We can’t afford 4 more years.”

Great news! I’m not the only one fired up! This week I learned that a group of grassroots West Virginians calling themselves “Miners for Romney” are organizing a caravan of nearly 100 vehicles to travel from Logan County, West Virginia to Ironton, Ohio. The caravan, organized by Shaun Adkins and other grassroots folks, will make stops in Charleston and Huntington, West Virginia, before arriving in Ohio. It will include coal miners, their families, local residents and business owners that rely on the industry, as well as ordinary people concerned what would happen to the coal industry if Obama got reelected. Joining the West Virginia group will be likeminded Ohioans and Kentuckians. Once they all make it to Ironton, “Miners for Romney” will spend hours knocking on doors and getting out the vote for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan!

After door knocks, the group will be treated to a picnic by the Romney campaign, followed by a rally where several people will speak. Among the speakers are a passionate West Virginia coal miner named Josh Nelson, who’s running (and winning) for a seat in the West Virginia House of Delegates that’s been held by Democrats for nearly 80 years! The rally will be keynoted by Tom and Deneen Borelli, two nationally known pro-energy conservatives. Tom is a columnist at TownHall.com and a Senior Fellow at FreedomWorks. Deneen is the author of Backlash and Director of Outreach at FreedomWorks. Both are frequent contributors at FOX News. The rally will also feature representatives of the Romney campaign as well as Josh Mandel’s campaign.

I don’t have to tell anyone how important Ohio is on the electoral map. It’s a huge part of winning the White House and Mitt needs all the help he can get there. It makes me so proud to know that my fellow West Virginians are stepping up to help turn Ohio red for the Romney-Ryan ticket!

Governor Romney, if you’re reading this, keep it up! Thousands of Mountaineers stand ready to help you take back this country and save coal!

Obama’s War On Coal is a War on Energy Independence and American Jobs

Coal Miners for Mitt

Coal Miners for Mitt!

Today I saw a man standing on the sidewalk with a sign that said “Out of work coal miner. Need help.” The young man holding the sign looked embarrassed to be asking for money. I have to admit, I’m usually skeptical of panhandlers, but given the last several years, I didn’t doubt this man’s story in the least.

Barack Obama and his Democrat friends in Congress formally declared war on coal in 2009 when they introduced the American Clean Energy and Security Act, also known as Cap and Trade. After it failed to pass the US Senate, Obama enlisted the help of his EPA Administrator, Lisa Jackson. Together, Obama and Jackson have put a regulatory stranglehold on the coal industry by manipulating both the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act beyond their original intentions. The Obama Administration has used the Clean Water Act to deny, delay, and even revoked mine permits throughout Appalachia. And they’ve used the Clean Air Act to restrict power plants from turning coal into affordable energy.

On Monday, Alpha Natural Resources, a large coal producer throughout Appalachia, announced it was closing eight mines and laying off 1,200 employees, 400 of those in the Mountain State. By some estimates, that brings the number of mining jobs lost in WV this year to 2,200. Among other things, Alpha’s CEO Kevin Crutchfield cited the closures and layoffs as a result of “a regulatory environment that’s aggressively aimed at constraining the use of coal.” That’s a nice way of saying “Obama’s War on Coal”.

While still a candidate, Barack Obama promised he’d bankrupt any company with a coal-powered plant. Just this month two companies announced there will be at least eight coal-fired power plants closing in WV as a result of environmental regulations. I guess that’s just Barack Obama keeping his promise.

Enter Mitt Romney. This week the Republican nominee released two new ads, clearly illustrating the war we’re fighting here in Appalachia. The ads, appropriately titled “War On Coal” and “Way Of Life”, feature real miners concerned about the harmful impact the president’s policies are having on their livelihood. These miners’ testimonials are heart wrenching examples of what’s happening all across this area of the country.


Fortunately for coal country, Mitt Romney’s energy plan includes overhauling and reforming many regulations that are hurting coal mining families. He wants to streamline the permitting process for new mines and amend the Clean Air Act to remove carbon dioxide; two specific proposals that would relieve the regulatory burden on the coal industry and restore thousands of jobs in the region. Perhaps the most important part of Romney’s energy plan is that it doesn’t pick winners and losers, like Barack Obama giving an unfair advantage to so-called “green jobs” while working families in Appalachian suffer shutdowns and layoffs.

Mitt Romney offers Appalachia hope for a better future. As for the out of work miner with the sign, I gave him the few dollars that were in my pocket and told him help is on his way.

Believe in America.