September 2, 2009
Virginia Cramer, 804-519-8449
Duke Withdraws from Coal Coalition
The nation’s third largest utility, Duke Energy has announced it is terminating its membership in the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, citing disagreement over clean energy legislation. "As the debate evolved, it became clear that there were some influential members who would never support climate legislation no matter what,” Duke spokesman Tom Williams told the press this morning. Duke has also withdrawn its membership in the National Association of Manufacturers for similar reasons; the NAM is currently running a misleading ad campaign against clean energy legislation.
In response, Bruce Nilles, Director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign issued the following statement.
“The revelations from Duke Energy should not be surprising. It is clear that ACCCE does not have the best interests of the American public at heart. Their only goal is to preserve the dirty status quo for coal, and they will do whatever it takes to keep things that way.
“ACCCE’s idea of fixing the clean energy jobs bill is to kill it or weaken it until it becomes ineffective. The front group has actively been fighting the legislation using any means necessary, including contracting with groups with questionable ethical histories and admitted forgery scandals, like Bonner & Associates and astroturf firms like Lincoln Strategies. The defection of Duke Energy is a clear sign that this front group has gone too far—even for energy companies like Duke that are heavily invested in coal and are attempting to build even more polluting coal plants.
“We cannot let groups like ACCCE, NAM or the US Chamber of Commerce hold America back from passing a clean energy jobs bill that will benefit everyone. Our clean energy economy should not be sacrificed to the extreme coal interests. We look forward to seeing whether other companies who consider the public interest part of their mission will resign from or at least condemn groups like ACCCE, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the US Chamber of Commerce for their efforts to kill clean energy jobs.”