Big Coal Campaigning to Keep Its Industry on Candidates’ Minds

– What no one seems to talk about much as they all extol the virtues of ‘clean coal’ is that there is not one functional full scale clean coal facility on the planet.  See:  

– It’s all small ‘proof-of-concept’ studies.   And, every time  a clean coal facility was going to be built, thus far, the plans have been scrapped at the 11th hours because of costs.  

– And yet, and yet, the discussion of its virtues goes on and on about how it is going to be a major piece as we plan the future.  What dreams and bullshit we are being fed.

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Big Coal is paying close attention to what the presidential candidates are saying about keeping coal part of the U.S. energy mix.

Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain, unlike President George W. Bush, support setting economy-wide caps on industrial emissions of greenhouse gases. That is a potential problem for the nation’s coal-fired power plants, which produce half the U.S. electricity supply — but also are the country’s leading source in recent years of emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, according to a report last month by the Government Accountability Office.

But as Election Day nears, both candidates are competing over who will do more to support clean-coal initiatives. For that, some credit belongs to Stephen Miller.

Mr. Miller, 55 years old, is president of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, a Virginia group funded by the country’s major coal-burning utilities, coal producers and railroads that haul coal. Over the past year, his organization has spent nearly $40 million on television and radio spots and other outreach efforts to bolster public support for coal, and to reinforce fears that limits on its use will raise living costs.

Mr. Miller’s group has been a fixture at presidential campaign events. At the Democratic and Republican conventions, the coalition spent a total of $1.7 million on advertising and street teams of workers who handed out water bottles, hats and literature about coal’s importance to the U.S. economy.

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