Coal Industry Front Group Sponsoring CNN Democrats Debate Tonight

A coal industry front group called the “Americans for Balanced Energy Choices” (ABEC), is one of the lead sponsors for tonight's CNN Democratic presidential debate.

ThinkProgress wonders whether candidates will be grilled on where they stand on the issue of “clean coal” electrical generation - which by all accounts remains the dirtiest form of energy production in the United States.

At least ABEC is honest about who funds them, their website states that, “primary funding for ABEC’s outreach efforts come from America’s coal-based electricity providers.” And a list of their supporters can be found on their site here.

But any praise for their attempts at disclosure ends there.

Big Tobacco then, Global Warming Now

Here's an October 1995 internal memo I came across written by someone at tobacco giant Philip Morris outlining all the “public policy grants” and the totals received by US think tanks and associations.

More than a few of the familiar names involved in the industry-funded war on climate science appear on this list, including:

Competitive Enterprise Institute - $200,000

Offsets Fall Short -- By Two-Thirds

Only about a third of the climate-damaging carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere in North America is offset by carbon-removing activities, a government report said.

According to the new U.S. study, North America released 1,856 million metric tons of carbon into the air in 2003 – 85 percent from the United States, 9 percent from Canada and 6 percent from Mexico.At the same time, growing vegetation and other sources took in about 500 million metric tons of carbon.

Celebrate Our Coal, Come On!

This is probably not the celebration Kool and the Gang had in mind when they wrote their hit song “Celebration.”

But its America's overabundance and over-reliance on the dirtiest form of electrical generation that has one industry front group celebrating.

Check out this website run by an organization called the “Americans for Balanced Energy Choices (ABEC), and in particular their “50% TV Spot” video.

All Global Warming is Local - The Politics and Science of Regional Climate Impacts

A key question is, how can we best champion nature and the environment when both are changing due to global warming, and when we lack—or, worse, when our government denies us—adequate information about the nature of those changes and how to cope with them?

How do we prepare ourselves for a changing climate, community by community, region by region? How should San Diegans get ready for global warming, and how does that differ from how Floridians or Kansans should respond?

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