1. CAMPAIGN 2012
Energy goes from symbol to surprise issue in bitter presidential race
BEAVER FALLS, Pa. -- John Jeffers guzzled a can of Orange Crush inside his small office here at United Steelworkers Local 8183. It was around 9 a.m. in late September, and the local union chief was getting ready for a trip to the USW national headquarters in Pittsburgh. Jeffers' union represents more than 700 workers at the Horsehead Corp. zinc smelter in Monaca, Pa., on the banks of the Ohio River. The plant plans to move its operations to North Carolina in the next couple of years, putting Jeffers and the others out of work. If Shell Oil Co. signs an agreement to purchase the land, the site will be converted to an ethane "cracker" that will use a bounty of natural gas liquids in the Utica Shale in eastern Ohio. There will be jobs lost and jobs gained, but Jeffers said the Republican governors of Ohio and Pennsylvania failed to fight for middle-class jobs.