Believe it or not, there are groups attempting to promote “clean coal” – an attempt worth parodying. The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity recently joined the ranks of such groups; it is preparing a series of ads designed to convince the Senate to vote against passing the climate energy bill. Does it really think the Senate will fall for it?
The ad series will target industrial and farm state Democratic senators. It will include online, billboard, radio and possibly television advertising, pushing a clear message: coal plants can be clean, and they are necessary for the production of low-cost energy. Some of the ads play into the nation’s rising unemployment rates; one says “A climate bill needs to protect Ohio jobs.” Additionally, teams of clean coal proponents will push the message at summer events lawmakers may attend (i.e. town hall meetings and state fairs).
The coal debate will put Democratic Senators in a pickle, since they need the support of environmental groups and Midwestern moderates (whose states’ economies depend on coal power). The ads will be released during the Senate’s August recess, giving them time to mull over the “facts” before their climate bill vote in September.
The Coalition seems to ride a convoluted wave of logic, vocalized by its Vice President of Communications, Joe Lucas, in a recent Politico.com article: “As you see the climate debate unfold, there are people that are interested in only achieving emissions reduction, but if we don’t do that in a way that promotes continued economic prosperity, we will have not succeeded in developing the right policy.” Further complicating matters is the fact that part of the climate bill would fund the capture and sequestration of carbon – creating what the Coalition calls “clean coal,” thereby strengthening their stance. Meanwhile, environmentalists doubt the environmental and sustainability-promoting value of such a capture.