In “Act of Despicable Hubris,” coal front group ACCCE exploits veterans groups to push dirty energy agenda

You may recall from September that the dirty coal group’s 14th forgery impersonated American veterans, whereas real vets support strong action on climate and clean energy “” as does GOP Senator John Warner, former Armed Services Committee chair. The coal industry is still up to its dirty tricks, as made clear in this Think Progress repost.

accce-whoThe American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) “” a front group of big utilities and coal companies “” is no stranger to fraud. During the summer’s House debate on cap-and-trade legislation, lobbyists working on behalf of the coal group sent forged letters to members of Congress, and lied under oath about it. Now, ACCCE is trying to exploit Veterans Day by misrepresenting veterans groups in an email to supporters:

With Veterans Day around the corner, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on all the military personnel who are involved in ensuring our country is protected.

Energy security is one issue that has become increasingly important to our veterans. In fact, national veterans groups Votevets and Operation Free are urging the government to become more energy independent and less reliant on foreign oil.

We can do this by using the abundant domestic fuels we already have. With more than 250 billion tons of recoverable coal reserves, the United States has more coal than the Middle East has oil.

The letter implies that VoteVets and Operation Free support ACCCE and its dirty energy agenda, but the the two groups are actually vocal backers of clean energy legislation. VoteVets excoriated ACCCE for citing them in the email, writing that VoteVets “will never advocate the continued use of carbon based fuels” and that ACCCE is trying “to hijack America’s Veterans” in “an act of despicable hubris.”

Operation Free “” a veterans group which is dedicated to fighting climate change “” was also quick to condemn ACCCE. In a blog post, Operation Free wrote that the email “dishonors Veterans day” and is “insulting to all of the Veterans who are fighting to protect America’s national security by supporting clean, American power.”

Will ACCCE acknowledge their continued misrepresentation and apologize for using Veterans Day as a prop to support an agenda that many veterans oppose?

UPDATE: ACCCE has sent out this email (Wednesday afternoon):


Yesterday, we sent an email to you which some folks felt implied that the group Operation Free supports clean coal technology, an issue which they have not taken a position on. That was not our intention. In reading the original e-mail, I agree that the wording of that original message could have been more precise, and I apologize for any misunderstanding.

This event did give me a chance to talk to the folks at Operation Free. I owed them the call because it should be common courtesy to check with an organization before you mention them in an e-mail – and we didn’t do that. I also committed to making an attempt to remove any confusion from the previous e-mail, and I hope this does that. But moreover, it gave us an opportunity to understand more clearly that we share the common goal of promoting greater energy independence.

It is with profound respect, on this Veterans Day, that we thank all of those veterans who have served our nation with bravery and distinction. They have given their dedication and lives to a cause greater than themselves, and for that we are all grateful.

Thank you for your continued support.

Joe Lucas
Senior Vice President – Communications

Joe Lucas is that guy who said mountaintop removal solves ‘lack of flat space’ in Appalachia.

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5 Responses to In “Act of Despicable Hubris,” coal front group ACCCE exploits veterans groups to push dirty energy agenda

  1. David Lewis says:

    How can one be a “vocal backer of clean energy legislation” yet be a group that “will never advocate the continued use of carbon based fuels”?

    I thought a centerpiece of the clean energy legislation presently before Congress is the billions that will be poured into the development of carbon capture and storage. I heard Joe on an Australian podcast saying there were tens of billions, I thought I heard him say as a result of Waxman-Markey, if something like that emerged from Congress, 60 billion dollars would be going into CCS over the next years.

    Climate campaigners should be more precise in describing what the problem is. Why oppose coal when it is the use of that coal, i.e. allowing the CO2 emissions caused by burning it as we do now to enter the atmosphere, that is the problem?

    Al Gore says in his new book: “what should be discarded, however, is any illusion that CCS will be available anytime soon at a scale large enough to make a dent in our CO2 emissions”. He might be right, and when a price is put on emitting carbon, coal use will fade away. But it may not.

    Stephen Chu might be proven correct that “widespread deployment of CCS can begin in 8 to 10 years” which by funding R&D and pilot projects his DOE “with fierce urgency” is trying to make a reality. Chu’s editorial in Science stated “there are many hurdles to making a CCS a reality, but none appear insurmountable”.

    Big Coal has poisoned the atmosphere in more ways than one. Their all talk no build and lobby behind the scenes so they will never have to build CCS “clean coal” campaign has upset a lot of people. Their twenty year coordinated attack on the credibility of climate science may turn out to be seen one day, as Hansen says it is, as a crime against humanity. But we should be clear that it is the present day use of coal that is the problem, not coal itself.

  2. Chris Dudley says:

    The fake letter scandal may extend to a veterans group as well as reported here:

    My sense in talking with active duty folks is that support for non-fossil energy is pretty strong. In some ways, we are beginning to see the development of a home front which was lacking in the last administration and renewable energy is a big part of that. It turns out that coal interests can not participate since avoiding global warming induced political instability is part of the emerging home mission. This seems to be making them desperate.

  3. lgcarey says:

    Actually, I don’t see how CCS (if it ever works) could fix all the problems with continued coal use — CCS does nothing to fix the tremendous environmental harm caused by emissions of mercury and other heavy metals and the accumulation of toxic coal ash.

  4. Dave says:

    Great reporting Joe, the lies of the fossil fuel industry are getting absolutely ripped apart in this blog! Go and get them!

  5. Mark L says:

    Joe, you wrote: “Joe Lucas is that guy who said mountaintop removal solves ‘lack of flat space’ in Appalachia.”

    This wonderful “lack of flat space” fractured syntax reminds me inescapably of the also wonderful and syntactically similar “get shade” phrase..

    Evidence of the ever more converging characteristics of those who can still at this late stage deny…