As long-delayed rules to enforce the Clean Air Act against coal pollution go into force, the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign has launched Mr. Coal Guy, a new social-media campaign with satirical videos that parody the coal industry’s multi-million dollar advertising campaigns. These videos feature Mr. Coal Guy, played by Mr. Show’s John Ennis, using iconic TV shows from the 1980’s to portray coal as fun, hip, and totally safe. In one video, Mr. Coal Guy provides the voiceover to a clip of Bob Ross’s timeless landscape painting to promote mountaintop removal coal mining (“scrapey scrapey goodbye lakey!”):
Another video portrays a coal-executive beach party celebrating “the fact that coal pollution never causes any health problems”:
The $300,000 campaign is “a funny send up of just how desperate dirty fossil fuel execs are to keep our country chained to the dirty, outdated 19th-century energy source,” says Mary Anne Hitt, the director of the Beyond Coal campaign. The campaign is on Facebook and Twitter at @mrcoalguy.