Former Pennsylvania Governor Rick Santorum, United States Congressman Bill Johnson and State Representative Andy Thompson addressed a crowd gathered at the Barnesville Pumpkin Festival on Saturday garnering support for presidential candidate Mitt Romney. A Commit to Mitt rally was held at the veterans plaza on Sept. 29.

In introducing the three politicians, Barnesville Mayor Ron Bischof said, Barnesville is known for the Pumpkin Festival and Ohio is known for coal. All of the politicians here today support coal.

State Representative Andy Thompson said, It is very important that we stand up to the presidents war on coal. We know what that translates into. We need coal to be open for business.

He continued, I am excited to see the oil and gas industry picking up here. I am running to represent a this part of the state because it is often forgotten.

Thompson said, Mitt Romney is who we need to bring this country back to what it was and bring the economy into what it needs to be and get back on track.

United States Congressman Bill Johnson said that anybody who doesnt believe that the war on coal is real, should just ask listen to what President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have said in the past.

This administration is determined to shut down the coal industry, Johnson said. All you have to do is ask the coal miners who are out of work.

Johnson told the crowd gathered that the Stop the War on Coal Act (HR 3409) was recently passed in the House. He said the act would not become a bill unless there was a change in the presidency. The Coal Miner Employment and Domestic Energy Infrastructure Protection Act was sponsored by Johnson and would prohibit the Secretary of the Interior from issuing regulations under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act that would adversely impact U.S. coal mining employment, cause a reduction in coal revenue to governments through regulation of coal mining, reduce the amount of coal available for domestic consumption or export, designate any area as unsuitable for surface coal mining and reclamation operations or expose the U.S. to liability for taking the value of privately owned coal through regulation.

Senator Rick Santorum understands the importance of coal and the leadership needed, Johnson said in introducing him to the crowd that met him with applause.

This election is important, Santorum said. President Obama wants to transform America as if something is fundamentally wrong with America. America is the most energy rich country in the world. There is a direct correlation between energy use and quality of life.

Santorum said the war on coal was a war on the basic values and lifestyle of Americans.

He said that President Obama has been clear about reducing the amount of coal and used.

We can be energy efficient in this country, Santorum said.

He said coal could be used for electricity for automobiles, and combined with the gas and oil produced by hydro fracturing, could reduce the countrys dependence upon foreign oil.

Santorum said energy production on federal land has decreased and referenced gas prices at the gas station across the street from the rally.

The war on coal is a war on American prosperity, he said. Santorum said Romney was for energy development in the United States.

We have different values here in Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania, Santorum said. We are stewards and will not have policy dictated to us.

Santorum asked those present to make a commitment to vote. There are big things at stake. This is an election about freedom, he said.

He encouraged people to vote for Romney and Johnson.

We can make a difference here in coal country. Speak loudly for your values. Go out and win this election, he said.

The Obama campaign released the following statement on the rally in Barnesville:President Obama believes economic growth comes from the middle out, not the top down. He wants to see everyone pay their fair share and will protect and strengthen Medicare. Eastern Ohio families simply cannot afford the Romney-Ryan plan, and that is why they will be supporting the president this fall.