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Sierra Club
Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet
RAW: Uncooked Truth, Beyond Belief 

Issue #287
June 19, 2009
Congress Sings King Coal's Song
Josh Dorner

CoalDirty energy interests have long held sway with the GOP's leading figures. In fact, we don't even have to merely speculate that the Bush-Cheney energy policy was written both by and for the coal, oil, and nuclear industries. We have proof.

And now we have proof that Big Coal is writing the talking points that the House GOP is using to attack the clean energy jobs plan, the American Clean Energy & Security Act, that could come up for a vote as soon as next week.

Without the facts on their side, conservative congressmen and their allies like the Heritage Foundation have been forced to turn to fearmongering and outright lies to try and defeat the Waxman-Markey bill, as the plan is also known.

The latest attack came today as the House GOP's "Rural America Solutions Group" attempted to capitalize on continued unease among Members from agricultural districts by holding a conference call to roll out a map entitled "Most States Lose Under the Pending Climate Bill." (Click here to take a look.) The map purported to use unspecified Congressional Budget Office and Energy Information Administration data to illustrate that while consumers in California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, South Dakota, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Vermont would gain under the bill, consumers in the remaining FORTY states would lose hundreds of billions of dollars in just the first year of the cap.

The ploy initially seemed to work, with one Midwestern Democrat hurling attacks at a fellow Member from the Northwest, citing the map as evidence. Yet, despite the citations, one was left with the feeling that something didn't quite add up.

Leave it to our friends at Grist to put on their thinking caps and take a little looksee at the "properties" of the powerpoint document. Well, lo and behold, it turns out the document's "author" was listed as one Greg Boyce, with its "manager" identified as a certain Chris Taylor. Who are these gentlemen you ask? Why, the CEO and communications services manager, respectively, of one of the largest dirty energy companies in America and the world's largest coal producer: Peabody Energy (read: BIG COAL).

Now, why on Earth would these folks literally parrot one of the world's worst, dirtiest energy companies? Perhaps it's the more than $13.4 million the coal industry has funneled to the GOP since 2000 (approximately 80 percent of its total campaign contributions).

Mad as hell and not going to take it any more? Click here to find out what you can do to stop the coal industry from killing the climate bill.




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