‘Clean’ Coal Nonsense: New Industry Ad Claims ‘Real Environmental Progress’

“The clock is ticking, America. It’s time we focused on reality instead of rhetoric.”

Finally, a national ad about the threat of climate change? Nope. It’s another piece of spin from the coal industry.

Under threat from cheap natural gas, savvy activist groups working overtime to shut down plants, and the declining cost of renewable energy, the coal industry has rolled out a new ad trying desperately to paint itself as “clean.”

“It’s time to recognize that America’s unsurpassed coal reserves can deliver centuries of affordable electricity…It’s time we recognized that the nearly $100 billion spent on clean coal technologies have resulted in real environmental progress.”

Centuries of coal burning? Scientists warn that we are already hitting tipping points that would make accelerating warming trends irreversible. If we burn coal for a couple more decades we’ll be in desperate trouble. Centuries? The warming scenario is almost unimaginable.

Real environmental progress? Last time I checked, coal was the source of 99% of mercury pollution from the U.S. power sector. Coal-fired electricity is also the largest source of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the U.S.

The only effective ways to address those problems are strong, smart regulatory standards. And the coal industry has fought those efforts tooth and nail.

Yes, the clock is indeed ticking.

6 Responses to ‘Clean’ Coal Nonsense: New Industry Ad Claims ‘Real Environmental Progress’

  1. Mossy says:

    We’re screwed. People in coal-producing states believe this, and won’t look at the real facts.

    I’ve got family members in OH and KY, whom I used to respect, and whom I thought respected me, but they won’t be swayed one bit by my informed assessment of energy. It’s terribly discouraging.

  2. Of course, it was great to see FOX News acknowledge that, “the science of clean coal remains impractical, prohibitively expensive and years away.”

  3. John Hollenberg says:

    If you can’t clean up your environmental mess, just lie about it. I wish I could say that it won’t work, but with even the president mentioning “clean coal technology” (in the past, don’t think he has said anything recently) I’m not too hopeful. There is no such thing as “clean coal technology”, and most likely never will be. It would be too expensive.

  4. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    It’s just the same in Australia. The new generation of Rightwing state Governments, elected in landslides without precedent as the serfs tire of incompetent and corrupt ‘Labor’ regimes that have marched to the Right themselves over recent decades, have all revealed themselves to be fanatically anti-environmentalist.
    Naturally, in the now ubiquitous pattern, they promised that they were ‘green’ and cuddly when seeking votes, but once in power the facade was instantly dropped, and renewable energy projects are being slashed left and right, and coal power, and coal seam gas, are being pushed, relentlessly. Other environmental progress, even that instituted by previous Rightwing ‘Liberal’ regimes, is also being targeted, in an orgy of reaction. The sheer ferocity of the hatred of environmentalists, and the intensity of denialism is clearly pathological.
    The MSM is complicit, having decided, with that ‘spooky synchronicity’ for which it is infamous, to totally drop all mention of anthropogenic climate destabilisation. Of course they cannot avoid reporting the increasing number of weather disasters, but that is insistently blamed on bad, old, ‘La Nina’ and climate destabilisation is flatly rejected as a possible cause. Still, when you live under market capitalism, a system that invariably promotes and nurtures the worst amongst humanity, such prodigies of stupidity, ignorance and suicidal destructiveness are inevitable.

  5. Economic Democracy says:

    If we were designing an economic system from scratch, would be ever be insane enough as to create entities like corporations whose legal mandate is to maximize short term profits at all costs, and to externalize all costs?

    It’s almost as if we’d so such a crazy think if we were deliberately trying to cause as much havoc as possible.

    We can call them immoral, greedy, horrible, etc…and that’s certainly true of their actions, but if we leave in place the economic/legal construction of the modern corporation, this is exactly the behavior we should expect. Yes it’s better (read: less extremely abusively corrupt) in some other developed countries, but it’s only a matter of extent, and only for the time being. The long term goal is infinitely expanding markets and unbounded growth in profits, exponential growth, forever (never mind its impossibility) while externalizing costs as much as possible. If we lose a liveable planet, that’s not your business, your business is this quarter’s profit report, and maybe the few after that – that’s it.

    We ourselves are mad if we leave this monstrosity of a structure in places and somehow *expect* them to behave differently.

    Calling them names (even deserved ones) will not help change the world; changing the legal, political, and yes economic institutions, is critical. EconomicDemocracy is not just a utopic dream, it’s a survival necessity.

  6. As an active participant of Occupy Melbourne Fl, I couldn’t help but notice the “Occupy” image popping up coincident with the narrator’s use of the term “rhetoric”.

    Clearly, this is yet another example of the 1% attempting to damage the general public’s image of the Occupy movement.

    I’ve become familiar with mainstream media’s portrayal of Occupy as a bunch of loonies, but was quite surprised to see the Occupy image in the middle of a clean coal video. I then realized what it really meant – Occupy remains a real concern of the right because it has been and will likely remain an effective voice of the 99%.