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Thank goodness for

Avatar for Dave Llorens
Published on 12/10/2008 in
Updated 12/10/2008

Finally, a group fed-up with big coal’s spin machine and all their money has launched a very visible ad campaign to challenge our perceptions about what is real and what is complete hogwash. I’ve been upset about this issue since late in this last election cycle, when both candidates were singing the gospel of a rare breed of coal that would wipe you clean dry after a bath and croon you to sleep with a bedtime story. Click the image above and join up to spread the word.

Excerpt from the site:

The Alliance for Climate Protection (, League
of Conservation Voters (, National Wildlife Federation (, Natural Resources Defense Council ( and Sierra Club ( launched the”Reality” Coalition, a national grassroots and advertising effort to tell a simple truth: in reality, there is no such thing as “clean coal.”

Environmental experts agree that coal is the dirtiest fuel America uses to produce electricity. The “Reality” Coalition, then, is challenging the coal industry to come clean ­ in its advertising and in its operations. Coal cannot be considered clean until its carbon dioxide emissions are captured and stored.

“The reality is that there’s not a single home or business in America today powered by clean coal,” said Brian Hardwick of the Alliance for Climate Protection. “If coal really wants to be part of America’s energy future, the industry can start by making a real commitment to eliminating their pollution that is a leading cause of global warming.”

Last modified: December 10, 2008

21 thoughts on “Thank goodness for

  1. Avatar for Murat Murat says:

    I think what concerns me most about the phrase “clean coal” is that Obama uses it on occasion. I suspect he may simply be pandering to those states where coal mining is crucial to the economy (ie, WV and the likes) and is using the phrase to be more “moderate” but any scientist worth his salt will tell you there is absolutely no such thing as clean coal.

    I understand that some of you work in the coal industry or have loved ones that do. I respect and appreciate the hard work you put in powering America. That being said, your rhetoric is eerily reminiscent of Plantation owners and anti-reconstructionists during the civil war era. Just because it keeps people employed, is highly profitable, and provides a simple solution to era specific problems (in our case, energy), doesn’t make it right. I see no reason, with proper federal funding, for employees at coal plants to be trained in various forms of renewable energy. Every technology is phased out at some point and coal will have its day as well.

  2. Avatar for Michael Michael says:

    One more thing. This statement completely debunks the entire global warming myth. It is pretty arrogant to believe that humans have the ability to control the climate. Case and point. Man has been trying to control the flow of the Mississippi River for over 200 years. It has never worked. If we cannot effectively controlthe destiny of a river, how can we do this on a global level?

  3. Avatar for Michael Michael says:

    There is always an angle to these types of movements. Is coal dirty? Yeah. Have I had friends die from Black Lung Disease? Yeah. But to switch over to wind, solar, geothermal, etc will cost jobs, cost a fortune, and will raise the cost of these ridiculously expensive “more efficient” peices of equipment. This will be charged to the taxpayers by this liberal administration. I am so sick of this
    “let’s hold hands and sing kumbaya” to solve the world’s problems. Have you noticed the number of these sites popping up? This is like the carbon credits scheme so someone can cash in on it. What a scam.

  4. Avatar for Uncle B Uncle B says:

    Think of your sons and daughters and grandchildren every time you use foreign oil! If not for unstated but very true facts of American life and the foreign oil supply, Iraq would never have happened! It is a Saudi obligation completed! As oil grows scarcer in the world, the Saudi and OPEC demands get higher! Who do we invade next to appease them, Iran, or do we give up Israel to make them happy enough to ship oil to our shores? We must quit this “mercenary for oil” position and get real about Wind see reference below:
    There is as much wind power potential (900,000 megawatts) off our coasts as the current capacity of all power plants in the United States combined, according to a new report entitled, A Framework for Offshore Wind Energy Development in the United States, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, and General Electric.
    And remember:
    If the U.S. had chosen to be a moral people, and leaving Iraqi oil alone, and following Al Gore, decided to develop the South Western deserts, with the technology of the times – solar/thermal-molten sodium – electricity installations, for the same amount of money as that war cost, ($650 Billion), today, we would be tapping into the largest, renewable, sustainable, PERPETUAL, energy source the world has ever known. It would have paid every energy bill in the U.S.A. for maintenance fees only – FOREVER! It would be equivalent to an oil field that can NEVER run dry! Low cost electric power, and storeable hydrogen gasoline replacement from the electricity, for all!
    After the millions of murders, and $650 billions of dollars, borrowed from our children’s futures and pissed away, with thousands of our own and others maimed and disfigured for life, millions of families utterly destroyed, ours and theirs, we are no closer to Iraqi oil production than the Iraqis are!
    The next time you hear a blithering idiot spoiled brat, drunken, drug addicted, sociopath, rich Arabic saber dancing daddie’s boy oilman, stand at a microphone and threaten YOUR safety with someone ELSE’S weapons, remember what you lost America, remember, and weep! (also see

  5. Avatar for Jeff Jeff says:

    When the Furer Obama nationalizes the electrical generation in the US, you will see dirty coal. I repair coal power plants. They do not pay for anything that is not going to pay for itself. They are constantly upgrading to make the plant more efficient..lo and behold…it makes them cleaner.
    Once the profit is taken away, we will not EVER upgrade a powerplant. We will patch it up and keep it going, but thats it.
    As far as going green.. Most people would not want their power bill to triple. For now, thats what it would take to go green throughout the USA. What we can do is..insulate (makes us money)…maybe build a solar air heater to offset some of our fossil fuel heating (even the person on 1023 a month). Look on youtube. The information is out there, WE have to adapt it to make it practical and profitable for the big coorporations to do it. Have a nice day

  6. Avatar for Dan Hahn Dan Hahn says:


    I agree with you on most accounts. However, I not a fan of distorting the truth, which is what the “clean coal” lobby is all about. Their agenda is to create a lasting image of coal as a scrubby clean investment in our future, when in reality, it damages ecosystems, is not sustainable, and does not even exist. I understand quite well jobs are reliant on the industry and coal continues to be a source of relatively cheap, abundant energy. It has its place in our energy mix, though now is the time to slowly start moving away from coal instead of building new plants that do not create “clean” anything.

  7. Avatar for Morten Morten says:

    Being 100% for all things green and trashing all things fossil isn’t practical, doesn’t inform, and ignores the financial/economic challenges of moving the world towards renewable energy. I’ve run a solar energy development company. Getting solar done is a steep uphill battle due almost entirely to high up front capital costs and the resulting high cost of solar energy compared to other options. There’s no conspiracy and fossil based power isn’t evil. It’s what has worked so far to keep the lights on for the lowest apparent cost. Climate change notwithstanding, the transition towards a low carbon energy future will take time, more understanding, and less distortion.

  8. Avatar for Just Wondering Just Wondering says:

    Agree with Gary……

  9. Avatar for Gary Gary says:

    Why don’t you get it There is no such thing as global warming caused by man it is just another ponsy game to make money. If anybody has bought carbon credits you have just been taken by Al Gore.

  10. Avatar for Just Wondering Just Wondering says:

    lol well after you get rid of the coal what’s gonna be next?? how about all the planes in the sky there are more planes in the sky now than there ever has been think maybe the fumes from the planes might be harmful??? How about all of you that still smoke how do we get rid of you second hand smoke is harmful???

  11. Avatar for Jim Jim says:

    I would love to have solar power. However, I’m not sure that I could afford to install it, at $1023 per month SS income, but for now, let the “experts” on “This Is Reality”, and that very stupid TV spot, come and live with us, here in Appalacia, where coal makes a living for thousands, provides electricity for millions, and the coal industry “is” clean, as most every plant by government mandate and standards have installed “scrubbers” in smoke stacks to nearly obliterate the gasses and polutions that they once spewed out. Strange too, that the scientists are starting to see a “cooling” trend in our climates, and especially in the ocean waters. Just be patient, as we see the huge “changes” that our new president is going to bring about ! Our world is going to be a paradise !

  12. Avatar for RUSS RUSS says:

    OH Man,
    Did I tune in to the cry baby channel?? I was trying to get a bit of knowledge from the comments section about solar power, but now you have made me cry too, waaaa-waaaaaaaaaa

  13. Avatar for Nathaniel Nathaniel says:

    Wow. Let’s all just bash on each other. That definitely solves the problem. The assumptions we all make about each other in anger and because someone is arguing for the other side are rather amazing.

    Changing technologies has never been easy on specific jobs. Yet for at least several hundred years the world has continued to move forward and create jobs that replace others. Coal mining, as a job, hasn’t even been around as long as this country, let alone what most of us likely do for a living.
    I also never argued that solar or wind could replace coal. In fact I think I related solar to “clean coal”, meaning carbon-capture coal firing, in terms of the reality of how unavailable it is.

    Unlike Sue Nolan, who, at least by appearances though this may certainly not be the case, works in the hydrocarbon industry, I neither work in the energy industry nor in any green industry. I make a pretty modest salary and certainly don’t have anywhere close to one million, let alone several. I do pay the bills and it is because of that that I work hard at being green. This is one of the fallacies of changing our energy production and use. That you can only be green if you live in California and have solar panels on your roof. Neither of these apply to me. I live in a state with one of the lowest electric rates in the country because we burn so much coal. As a result, almost no new and expensive energy technology makes financial sense because the payoff is too long. But the idea that this is the only way to reduce the amount of coal slag being dumped into the water I drink is ridiculous. A simple example: A clothesline cost me less than $10. I now rarely use my dryer, though I certainly have one. We all use electricity and most of that comes from coal. I get quite frustrated with people who rail against each other for not doing a specific activity that would reduce energy usage. Well, maybe that specific thing doesn’t work for them right now but something else that you’re not doing does.

    Again, I never argued against coal. I argued against the concept of “clean coal”. Even there what I argued was not that what is being presented as so great is not great. I like the idea of carbon capture. What I said was that coal will never be clean so long as we are using mountain top removal and dumping waste in stream beds to get at it. I still say do the math. Yes, and I said this as well, all technologies have tradeoffs. Solar and wind have their own footprints, as do geothermal, tidal and all the rest. But coal mining, and mountain top removal in particular still has a greater cost to human and environment health. Remarkably similar to what Rich G just said.

  14. Avatar for Rich G Rich G says:

    Someone earned a bonus coming up with the term “clean coal” for what are in reality (well, in theory) lower-emission coal combustion plants. Sure, between one of those and the regular kind, I’d pick the low-emission one. But mining, processing, transporting and burning coal to generate electricity will always be a dirty and damaging process.

  15. Avatar for corey corey says:

    Nathaniel, could you please explain really clean solar energy? solar panels take up lots of space, are made of toxic materials,and make a larger carbon footprint due the the processes needed to create the panels. not to mention the problem of what to do with waste created by their construction. what do you do for a living that you can afford to be green? i would love to live in a geo-thermal home with wind generators on every corner. the fact remains that wind is not the answer, solar is not the answer, clean burning coal is the economical answer. unless you can loan me a few million, form an opinion when you are the one paying the bills

  16. Avatar for stu stu says:

    i’m sick of you trying to cram that dishonest ad dwon my throat!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Avatar for Richard Tate Richard Tate says:

    In Response to Nathanial’s comment. Coal isn’t going away time soon. It provides about 24 to 28 percent of mankinds energy needs. While I won’t argue the need to cut back and better use hydrocarbon energy, solar only makes up a tiny fraction and needs to grow at double diget rates to even come slose to providing 5% of total energy in the next 10 to 20 years. Also currently most solar panels of scale still need petroleum base products to manufacture, even though many are working on other methods. As far as do the math, alternitives will never come close to giving mankind what we’ve had the last 150 years. Search Thermoenergy’s wed site, I think you’ll find some intresting stuff there.

  18. Avatar for Proud Coal Miners Daughter Proud Coal Miners Daughter says:

    Actually It amazes me how people have always got to have someone or something to harp about have you ever thought of these families who work for coal companies will be affected or do you feel just to hell with them..

  19. Avatar for Nathaniel Nathaniel says:

    Sue Nolan’s response just provides further fodder for my frustration with the clean coal concept. What is my interest in beating down coal. Hm… where to start.
    Sure, we might be able to find ways to burn coal in a way that doesn’t emit particulate or greenhouse gases into the air. Even if that technology doesn’t exist yet, I’m happy to think it is just as possible as reallycheap solar. However, so long as we are using massive quantities of dynamite and diesel fuel to blow coal out of mountains and then piling the slag into stream beds coal will never be clean. Take a look at Google Earth and do a search for mountaintop removal, then back all the way out. When you can still see the coal mine from space we have a problem. It really doesn’t matter how you burn it to make our air clean if you’re poisoning our land and our water supply too. The “clean coal” propaganda conveniently ignores that problem.
    I heard an NPR story about local people being unhappy about a wind farm on an Appalachian mountain ridge. They complained it created noise and wildlife problems. Both probably true. The difference is coal mining does the same thing, albeit worse, and when the coal is gone the area is still devastated while the mining just moves on to another location. The wind farm continues and continues and continues to produce energy in the same spot with the same footprint. No energy technology is without tradeoffs, but seriously folks do the math.

  20. Avatar for Susanna Nolan Susanna Nolan says:

    Clean Coal is on it’s way and please refer to the TIPS technology at ThermoEnergy Corp and learn. What is your interest in beating down the coal industry when it can be the bridge to energy independence. Please notice the TIPS process is ZERO emissions. Pease visit Thank You Sue Nolan

  21. Avatar for Carson Matthews Carson Matthews says:

    It’s got to be about making our homes more energy efficient and not about spending millions of dollars on coal plants that will only use up more of our resources and pollute us at the same time. No doubt about it, there is no such thing as clean coal and better yet no examples of it being done. Let’s spend that money in our communities making homes healthier and more efficient. Over the long range this will cost less, create more jobs and reduce our need for energy in general.

    Carson Matthews

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