It's the Environment, Stupid.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Learning about coal

A colleague of mine directed me to this site: LearnAboutCoal.org. I was curious after recently finishing Jeff Goodell's book, Big Coal (read a review on Tree Hugger by Jeff Mcintire-Strasburg.)

At learnaboutcoal.org, there's a girl sitting in a chair who begins talking to you about the benefits of coal. Above her head is text, reiterating her remarks: 250-year supply of coal in America; Half of the cost of other fuels; Technology - pathway to emissions-free power plants. Each section of the site has a kid telling you about the benefits of the future of coal. The site's blog (postings attributed to no one) remark on coal in the news.

Who put this together? Amercians for Balanced Energy Choices, a purported non-partisan organization that is not without special interests. According to Source Watch (a project of the Center for Media and Democracy), "Formed in 2000 to develop astroturf support for coal-based electricity, Americans for Balanced Energy Choices (ABEC) promotes the interests of mining companies, coal transporters, and electricity producers...A domain name search reveals that ABEC's website is registered to the coal industry trade organization Center for Energy and Economic Development."

At the helm of the Center for Energy and Economic Development, "In 2006, David M. Ratcliffe, Chairman, President and CEO of Southern Company, serves as Chairman of CEED's Board of Directors. J. Brett Harvey, President and CEO of CONSOL Energy, Inc. serves as this year's Vice Chairman. The coal, rail, and utility industries share in the funding and leadership of CEED, along with other transportation companies, manufacturers and professional service firms that support those industries."

Learning about coal from LearnAboutCoal.org is kind of like learning about nuclear power from The Nuclear Energy Institute - both present the future of global energy as rosy with no problems or negative drawbacks. While it's great to focus on the positve benefits of coal (or nuclear) you can't disregard the inevitable negatives that come along with it.

1 Comments:

  • Coal is one source that we WILL be using throughout the next century, along with natural gas and nuclear.

    The accumulated total "clean" technologies cannot replace even one of these resources. The choice is simple convince people to reduce their energy usage or build more power plants (coal included).

    So far the general public is more concerned with convenience and cost. This ad just seems to counter the recent Natural gas industries campaign.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 09:02  

  • Very interesting post. Thanks for sharing.

    By Anonymous Levitra 20mg, at 05:17  

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