The statement: "President Obama is on record saying he wants to bankrupt the coal industry ... "
— U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., in a March 3, 2011, news release
The ruling: Mostly false
The facts: There's no evidence President Barack Obama has ever said he wants to bankrupt the coal industry, although Obama has proposed policies that he acknowledged might "bankrupt" anybody who builds a traditional coal-fired power plant.
Calls and e-mails to U.S. Sen. Rand Paul's office for this story were not returned, but Paul's statement probably refers to a comment Obama, who was then a presidential candidate, made during a Jan. 5, 2008, interview with the San Francisco Chronicle.
As Obama explained his preference for what he called an "aggressive" cap-and-trade policy to regulate carbon emissions, he said: "So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted."
At the time, Obama's comment caused an uproar within the coal mining industry. The National Mining Association and other groups criticized what they saw as the would-be president's anti-coal stance.
During the 2008 election cycle, the Republican National Committee put out an automated telephone call in coal-producing states on behalf of Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the GOP's presidential candidate, calling attention to Obama's "bankrupt" quote.
At the time, Obama's campaign told ABC News that opponents took his quote out of context.
During Obama's interview with the newspaper, he also said that the idea of eliminating coal is "an illusion" and that the United States must "figure out how can we use coal without emitting greenhouse gases and carbon. And how can we sequester that carbon and capture it.
"The point is, if we set rigorous standards for the allowable emissions, then we can allow the market to determine, and technology and entrepreneurs to pursue, what the best approach is to take, as opposed to us saying at the outset, here are the winners that we're picking and maybe we pick wrong and maybe we pick right."