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Press Room:  For Immediate Release 
Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet


For Immediate Release:
September 10, 2009

Virginia Cramer, 804-225-9113 x 102

Investigators Find Another Forged Letter from Lobbying Firm
Coal industry front group contracted with firm

Washington, DC- A 14th forged letter from lobbying firm Bonner & Associates was released as part of House Chairman Markey's (D-MA) investigation in the scandal today. This letter, purporting to be from a local American Legion chapter in Virginia, echoed the same anti-clean energy language found in previous letters forged from groups like the NAACP, a local Hispanic group and Senior Centers and sent to several members of the House of Representatives. Bonner & Associates, who has admitted that a since-fired temporary employee was responsible for the letters, was at the time working on behalf of a contractor hired by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE).

Statement of Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director

"Despite the coal industry's ACCCE and Bonner & Associates denouncing these actions and firmly placing blame elsewhere, this newly surfaced letter again reminds us of how dirty politics can get when aimed at defeating clean energy legislation that would benefit all Americans.

"Big Oil and Coal continue to spend millions of dollars opposing any legislation that would bring the U.S. into a clean energy future, create jobs and fight global warming.  From lobbyists forging letters to the US Chamber of Commerce calling for a mock trial of science--this lowest of discourse, the misrepresentation of facts, of communities, and of America’s heroes must end. 

"In fact, veterans stood up today on Capitol Hill, at the White House and on the airwaves speaking in favor of clean energy as a way to make America more secure.

"Last week the AAUW, National Wildlife Federation, NAACP, Center for American Progress Action Fund and Sierra Club joined forces to help average citizens blow the whistle on deceptive, fraudulent, or illegal tactics being perpetrated by big polluters and their lobbyists to strike down clean energy innovation. The tip line (866-363-4648) launched last Thursday.

"Yesterday, just a week after the nation’s third largest utility, Duke Energy announced it was of the terminating its membership in the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, French giant Alstom power today followed suit. The company, which makes pollution control technologies for coal plants, cited “questions that have been raised about ACCCE’s support for climate legislation” as the reason for leaving. 

"And today the Sierra Club will be delivering over a petition of over 30,000 signatures to the board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, asking those companies to denounce the Chamber’s attacks on the clean energy jobs bill and the science of global warming, or resign from the group.

"We cannot let our clean energy economy be sacrificed to extreme coal interests that have only their bottom line, not the best interests of the American people, at heart. We need a clean energy jobs bill that benefits everyone, not just coal. We hope that other companies who consider the public interest part of their mission will resign from or at least condemn groups like ACCCE and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for their efforts to kill clean energy jobs."

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