October 15, 2009
Virginia Cramer, 804-519-8449
Hearing on Dirty Coal Tricks Postponed
Washington, DC: Reports in the Associated Press and Politico this morning revealed more findings related to Chairman Ed Markey’s investigation into those at the center of widening scandal involving forged letters sent to Congress. The letters sent by Bonner and Associates, on behalf of a group contracted by American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, purported to come from veterans, senior, minority and women’s groups urging members of Congress to vote against clean energy legislation in the House earlier this year. A hearing on the issue, scheduled for this morning, has been postponed.
Statement of Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director:
"We are disappointed that Chairman Markey’s hearing on this scandal will have to wait, but we applaud his efforts to bring this important story to light. Today’s press reports confirm the close associations between ACCCE and the contractors they hired and the fact that ACCCE knew about the letters forged on their behalf well before Congress was alerted.
"This is another reminder of how far these polluting special interests are willing to go to keep the public in the dark and dependent on their dirty sources of energy. Big Oil, Big Coal and other special interests have already spent more than $100 million trying to defeat clean energy legislation, and in doing so have managed to mar the tradition of true public participation that has made our country great.
"We cannot let polluters get away with their dirty, business-as-usual tactics. Right now the Senate is working on a clean energy jobs bill that will ensure we have less pollution, more jobs and greater security. It will help America take charge and build a clean energy economy that works for everyone.
"But Big Coal and Oil are fighting against this progress, spending tens of millions of dollars in an attempt to drown out the calls for a clean energy economy that are coming from across the country. These polluters are fighting hard for billions in giveaways that would encourage the construction of more dirty coal-fired power plants and to weaken the authority of the Clean Air Act.
"The Senate must fight back against the old polluting industries and pass as strong clean energy jobs bill that will create jobs, boost the economy, switch to renewable sources like wind and solar, make America more secure, and fight global warming.
"We look forward to when the witnesses on both sides of this issue are able to publicly tell their stories."