clean coal

Wed, 2011-04-27 11:15Mike Casey
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National Coal Expert: “Mining is a Loser” in Practically Every Way

Originally posted at The Great Energy Challenge blog

Anytime coal’s cost to America is discussed, the coal industry reflexively talks about what an economic lifeline it is for the states in which it operates. Headwaters Economics, a Bozeman-based think tank focusing on natural resource issues, has a solid new study that’s getting national attention for undercutting those claims. For instance, the Headwaters study finds that “[f]ossil fuel production has not insulated energy-producing states from fiscal crisis,” that “[f]ossil fuel extraction has a limited influence at the state level on economic indicators such as GDP by state, personal income, and employment,” and that “[t]he volatility of fossil fuel markets poses obstacles to the stability and long-term security of economic growth in energy-producing regions.”

This is a problem for the coal industry, which spends heavily to construct a fantasy world in which it’s a “clean” industry to which we should feel grateful, a vital supplier of our power, and an economic lifeline to host communities.

But in the real world, coal’s case is even weaker than the Headwaters study shows. The work of Professor Michael Hendryx of West Virginia University goes even further. His work has looked at the costs of coal mining to the Appalachian communities that host it.

Wed, 2011-01-26 03:57Chris Mooney
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Can You Have a Purely Economic Sputnik?

Last night, the president gave a speech that never directly mentioned the most pressing science-based issue of our time—global warming, climate change. I don’t like being so right in my prediction: Even I thought he’d say it once or twice at least.

At the same time, however, he announced a new national love affair with science, innovation, and clean energy, using a playbook that seems right out of the National Academy of Sciences’ now famous 2005 Rising Above the Gathering Storm report. And he capped it all off with a line of almost mythic potential: “This is our generation’s Sputnik moment.”

Could it really be? And can this approach—save the climate, the country, the economy, and pretty much everything through technological innovation—deliver on its own?

Tue, 2011-01-04 18:09Brendan DeMelle
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Remembering Judy Bonds, Heroic Organizer Who Fought Mountaintop Removal With Everything She Had

Judy Bonds, the fearlessly outspoken activist and community organizer who devoted her life to saving her native Appalachian mountains from the ravages of mountaintop removal coal mining, passed away Monday.

The daughter of a coal miner, Julia Bonds was fiercely dedicated to the cause of ending dangerous coal practices and combatting the myth of ‘clean coal,’ which she could often be heard pointing out is a “dirty lie.”

She was an inspiration to me personally, and I’m fortunate to have met and talked with her often over the years.  She will be dearly missed. But her legacy lives on in the thousands of lives she touched, and her memory will serve as a continuing inspiration to everyone who wants to see America and the rest of the world end our addiction to dirty coal.

Jeff Biggers has a wonderful tribute to Judy on the Huffington Post, and JW Randolph has another tribute at Appalachian Voices.  WTRF in West Virginia reports that Coal River Mountain Watch, the group that Bonds led, is planning a memorial service but a date has not been set yet.

Thu, 2010-09-02 14:53Brendan DeMelle
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EPA Ignores Tennessee and Alabama Coal Ash Victims, Nearest Hearing Is 260 Miles From TVA Disaster Site

September is back to school month, but the next big test for the White House and EPA has already begun. How the Obama administration handles the proposed regulation of coal ash - the toxic waste left over from coal-burning power plants loaded with mercury, lead, and arsenic - will serve as a key indicator of the administration’s sincerity in responding to one of the worst energy and environmental crises threatening the health and water supplies of millions of Americans.

Two key states, Tennessee and Alabama, have been shut out of the discussion on how best to regulate coal ash, thanks to EPA’s bewildering decision not to hold public hearings in either state. Residents of Tennessee might have a few things to say about the impacts of coal ash, since the state suffered the worst coal ash disaster in U.S. history less than two years ago.

Fri, 2010-08-27 16:04Brendan DeMelle
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Toxic Coal Ash Threatens At Least 137 Sites In 34 States

A new study by three top environmental groups reveals another 39 coal ash threats in 21 states, bringing the total number of known coal ash threats to 137 in 34 states.  

The report by the Environmental Integrity Project, Earthjustice, and the Sierra Club details the newly identified slurry ponds and impoundments filled with toxic coal ash that threaten drinking water supplies and public health at sites around the country.  

Earlier this year the groups identified 31 coal ash disposal sites in 14 states, adding to the 67 sites already identified by the Environmental Protection Agency.  The latest report brings the total number to 137 sites where coal ash threatens public health and water supplies. 

The U.S. EPA is currently grappling with how to regulate the toxic coal ash threat, which is now checked only by individual state laws that have failed to adequately protect the public from this growing problem.

Thu, 2010-04-29 18:17Brendan DeMelle
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Washington Post Teams with Dirty Coal Front Group ACCCE on PostPolitics.com Launch

The Washington Post this week launched a new politics homepage, PostPolitics.com, with a helping hand from the dirty coal industry.

According to the press release announcing the launch,
“The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity is the Washington Post’s exclusive launch sponsor of PostPolitics.com.”

While PostPolitics.com itself is an exciting new tool for fans of political news, it is unfortunate that the Post had to partner with coal polluters to fund the launch.

Wed, 2010-02-10 10:55Brendan DeMelle
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PolluterHarmony: A Match Made In Washington

Congressmembers, are you too busy being indentured servants to corporations to find love?

Lobbyists, did that pickup line about healthcare flop with your beloved Senator?  Well, have you heard the one about “clean coal” yet?

Polluters, are you too shy to admit the things you’d like to do to Rep. Joe Barton

Well, you are all in luck.  Today marks the launch of PolluterHarmony.com, a new online matchmaking service designed to help dirty polluters and their lobbyists find that perfect politician to live forever in holy mmm…

Fri, 2010-02-05 12:19Brendan DeMelle
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ACCCE Hires New PR Firm With Bush Ties To Push Coal

The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) has hired two new public relations firms to hock its message in the wake of the disastrous job done by Bonner & Associates. 

ACCCE has retained HDMK, a PR firm with very strong ties to former President George W. Bush and the Republican Party, to manage its national media efforts, while Dan Ronayne, a managing director of the Howard Consulting Group, was retained to work with regional reporters.

HDMK is run by Terry Holt, the national campaign spokesperson for George W. Bush in the 2004 election and the former spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner.  Other HDMK partners include Trent Duffy, a former deputy press secretary to President George W. Bush, Jim Morrell, former deputy chief of staff to the House Republican Conference and a speechwriter for former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-IL), and Chad Kolton, another long-time Republican communications operative who served in the Bush administration as press secretary at the OMB and FEMA.

Wed, 2009-09-23 12:40Brendan DeMelle
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ACCCE Coal Lobby Targeting Key Democrats In Senate Climate Debate

America’s Power Army, the sister organization to the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), sent an email this week to its Astroturf ‘army’ laying out the coal lobby’s plans to barrage key Democratic targets in the coming weeks to ensure that energy and climate legislation provides sufficient loopholes to maintain the Dirty Coal status quo. 

America’s Power Army, formerly known by the less-militaristic name Americans for Balanced Energy Choices until August 2008, sent its ‘Eye on Washington’ Fall 2009 update from Washington in the form of a slickly-crafted email blast, complete with personalized introduction (Dear [Insert Recipient Name Here] code) and a banner picture of clear skies with just a few wispy white clouds hovering over the Capitol. 

The Army email says:

“America’s Power Army – along with our parent organization, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) – is committed to supporting the enactment of legislation that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, protects consumers, preserves fuel diversity to promote greater energy independence; and encourages the development and deployment of advanced technologies for using coal.”


Fri, 2009-08-28 10:48Kevin Grandia
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Maddow on Bonner and Adfero's Astroturfing for Coal

On her show last night MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow lambasted the latest coal lobby astroturf campaign for using generic clip art stock photos for their FACES of coal campaign. I guess the coal lobbyists behind the campaign couldn’t find any real people willing to pose as pro-coal cheerleaders and instead had to rely on stock photo stand-ins instead.

This story was first uncovered by the hardworking folks at Appalachian Voices who are fighting to save the mountains of Appalachia from the hugely destructive and toxic industry process of mountain top removal.

Maddow also gave a quick shout-out to DeSmogBlog on her show presumably for our work to uncover the high-powered Washington, DC public relations company, Adfero Group, that appears to be working behind the scenes on the FACES astroturf campaign. 

Brad Johnson at the WonkRoom reported yesterday that Adfero Group also has significant ties to the Republican Party.

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