House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) told reporters on Thursday that despite not being a "big supporter" of coal, she does support coal miners.
"This senseless shutdown is inflicting great pain in every part of our country. Every day the impacts spread, reaching the lives of hardworking Americans in every corner of the country. I am particularly concerned about the United Mine Workers of America," Pelosi said. "They spend a good deal of time in my office because I do believe we owe them so much. Even though I'm not a big supporter of coal, I am a big supporter of the coal miners."
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Last August, Pelosi mocked coal power while giving "all due respect to West Virginia" during an event about energy policy, the Daily Caller reported at the time.
"And it really is a moral issue if you believe as I do that this is God’s creation [and] we have to be good stewards of it," Pelosi said. "We have evangelicals and others with us — er, some, those who believe in God’s creation. So, in any case this was a big thing for us. I had to fight some Democrats. Senator Byrd had a coal powered plan fueling the Capitol, you know I [unintelligible] that’s gonna go, with all due respect to West Virginia we’re not gonna have a coal power plant floating around," Pelosi said.
In September, Pelosi announced she was backing an initiative to shut down more than a third of U.S. coal plants by 2020.
Pelosi also praised former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg's Beyond Coal initiative, which describes coal as "an outdated, backward, and dirty 19th-century technology."