Energy. Environment. Economy.

Coal Industry Launches New Ad Campaign Attacking President Obama

Just ahead of the first presidential debate, the coal industry began airing new ads criticizing Obama. The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity has produced three new spots that will run on both cable and network television. ACCCE says the EPA under Obama has an “anti-coal agenda.” The EPA has proposed new rules to reduce carbon emissions, as well as mercury. The House passed a package of bills last week called “Stop the War on Coal Act,” aimed at rolling back these rules.

screen shot from YouTube

The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity has launched a new ad campaign criticizing President Obama.

The ads don’t mention either candidate by name. But to the backdrop of a federal government building and the Lincoln Memorial, the voiceover says:

“Heavy handed EPA regulations have taken us down a reckless path. A path limiting our most abundant and reliant domestic fuel to generate electricity, coal.”

The EPA’s carbon rules would make it impossible for any new coal-fired plants to come online unless they employ carbon capture technology, which researchers say is still decades away and very expensive. But some say recent closures at coal burning plants have more to do with economics, not EPA rules. The sudden abundance of cheap natural gas, which when burned emits less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than coal, has utilities looking to phase it out in favor of natural gas.

Clean coal can mean different things to different people. When the industry talks about clean coal, they refer to scrubbers and other technology that reduce harmful emissions like sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and fine particulates. When others say clean coal, they mean carbon capture and sequestration, which would reduce greenhouse gas causing CO2 emissions. Environmentalists say there’s no such thing as “clean coal,” because no technology exists to reduce emissions to zero.


  • Tom McBride

    Criticises Obama? A back drop of government building and a statement about heavy handed regulation does’nt equate to a personal attack on Obama. His name is not even mentioned. Of course everyone knows that the regulations are Obama’s. The conspicuous absence of his name makes it clear the ACCC is being critical of the regulations no matter who was in the white house but to state that it was an attack on Obama gives the impression that the ad is motivated by a political or other bias against him.

    • Will Whiteside

      They avoided specifically mentioning Obama not because they are “critical of the regulations no matter who was in the white house,” but because the ACCCE will be able to retain its nonprofit status so long as it does not specifically endorse one of the candidates. That, and they’re aiming for congressional/senatorial races as well.

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