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Big Labor Clashes With Green Groups

The disappointments just keep coming for Al Gore. Last week, Obama angered environmentalist groups by scrapping the administration’s proposed EPA clean air regulations. And now the St. Louis chapter of the AFL-CIO has also come out against the environmental regulations, which it says will have a detrimental impact on Missouri jobs:

Today, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) announced the formation of a new coalition, “Energy for Missouri Jobs,” that will promote policies that ensure Missouri’s ability to access affordable, reliable power through coal. Energy for Missouri Jobs supports reasonable environmental regulation that continues the pursuit of cleaner air while balancing economic priorities. …

“Missouri working families cannot afford regulations that will raise electricity costs and destroy jobs during this fragile economic recovery,” said Robert Kelley, president emeritus of the St. Louis Labor Council and member of Energy for Missouri Jobs. “The EPA needs to consider a balanced approach that gives us cleaner air without sacrificing jobs and increasing energy prices.”

In other words, the St. Louis AFL-CIO isn’t playing along with the environmental movement’s comically ridiculous argument that green regulations actually “create” jobs. And now they’re actually working with the dreaded coal industry to fight the regulations.

The relationship between the environmentalists and the unions has been a tenuous one for awhile, but the fact some labor groups are becoming more vocal with their criticism means this divide may become an election issue. And this is an area where the Obama administration will have to strike a delicate balance. Unions and environmentalists are two of the most die-hard segments of the president’s support base, and a major feud between them could complicate his reelection strategy.