Dirty Coal Lobby Buys D.C.

The public isn’t buying the coal lobby’s high-priced ad campaign.  

They know that coal is dirty and has remained so for the last century.  But it seems to be falling on deaf ears amongst our politicians in Washington, D.C.

Maybe that’s because just one organization for the dirty coal lobby, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), has already spent more than $4,650,000 lobbying the federal government in 2008.  That’s more than 2.5 times the original  number reported earlier this week on other newsites and blogs and the massive amount is swamping the efforts being made by clean energy groups.

What are the politicians giving the coal industry for their money?  

A complete halt to addressing global warming - amounting to subsidies of hundreds of billions of dollars a year for their dirty fuel - and a lockdown on critical extension of bipartisan tax credits for clean solutions like energy efficiency and power from the wind and sun.

The coal industry is holding hostage hundreds of thousands of good jobs for American workers, and the future of our climate and economy, to maintain their profits.  And they are spending millions of dollars in Washington, D.C. to make sure nothing threatens their destructive mining and burning practices.

The utter failure of carbon capture and storage projects for coal plants to date, despite billions of tax dollars being poured into research and development, doesn’t seem to deter politicians from holding onto the purse strings of the coal lobby.  And with coal prices and profits at all time highs, don’t expect our energy crisis to be solved any time soon.  The oil and coal companies which are profiting from the daily struggle of Americans to pay their bills don’t want real clean energy solutions.  So they throw out the expensive and fatal specter of ‘clean’ coal and expanded offshore drilling to distract opportunistic politicians from actually solving the twin problems of global warming and rising energy costs.

At the same time energy companies are sidelining private capital with new coal plant proposals.  In the current credit crunch, locking in valuable and limited capital for the next three decades on dirty coal plants prevents our market economy from taking action on lower-cost energy efficiency and clean energy.  And it will mean a half century of more pollution and skyrocketing electricity bills for the rest of us if they succeed