Campaigning in Pennsylvania coal country on Thursday, the Democratic vice presidential nominee said the government should steer more money to clean coal - a term used to describe a variety of emerging technologies that burn coal for electricity without producing as much pollution.
"I am for clean coal," he told The Associated Press following a speech in Wilkes-Barre.
It's an issue that resonates with some working-class voters in Pennsylvania, a group that Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama has had trouble connecting with. Pennsylvania Democrats gave Sen. Hillary Clinton a 10-point victory in the April primary.
Pennsylvania is the nation's No. 4 coal-producing state; the industry employs more than 7,000 people at nearly 800 mines, and many voters come from coal-mining families. The administration of Gov. Ed Rendell has invested millions of dollars in clean coal technology in the state.