Thursday, March 13, 2008

Coal Awareness Week, Part 3: RFK Action Front strikes back at Americans for Balanced Energy Choices

In January, I was watching the Democratic Presidential Debate on CNN and I was surprised that there were absolutely no questions on global warming or energy policy. It seemed like a pretty huge oversight on the part of CNN given that we are currently fighting a 3 trillion dollar war that has cost nearly 4,000 American lives in lieu of having a domestic energy policy.

After about an hour CNN started cutting to commercial breaks. I thought, that's odd, the public owns the airwaves and this is a Presidential debate -- why are we having commercial breaks? As they went to break, CNN proudly announced that the debates were sponsored by the Orwellian-named Americans for Balanced Energy Choices (ABEC) -- and again I thought, that's weird, since when are Presidential debates, sponsored by anyone other than the League of Women Voters? And CNN kept running these peppy commercials by ABEC telling people how great coal-fired power plants are! The commercials even used the song "Celebration" by Kool and Gang to put us all in that feel good mood!

It turns out that Americans for Balanced Energy Choices is a PR front group for the coal-fired power industry. ABEC is spending $35 million to try to get more coal-fired power plants built in the U.S. They have to spend $35 million on PR (and Kool and the Gang songs) because coal is a horrible energy source. Coal mining causes black lung, mining accidents, and destroys entire communities. Burning coal causes asthma, heart attacks, and shortens the lives of thousands of Americans (it may also cause autism).

The more I thought about it, the angrier I got. CNN should be ashamed of itself for taking money from these toxic monsters. And it's about time someone slapped ABEC for lying to the American people.

As it turns out, I was recording the debates. So I decided to remake the ABEC commercial with actual, real world facts about coal (and thankfully, I couldn't afford to license the Kool and the Gang song). I made two version, the funny version, and the serious version. Check 'em out:

Solar kick's coal's ass #2, Funny:



Solar kicks coal's ass, just the facts:



You can subscribe to my YouTube channel by clicking (here).

Tomorrow I'll have more on ABEC and some ideas for ways to fight back against the coal-fired power industry.

6 comments:

David, with ABEC said...

Hi there. I watched the videos... there's a lot to respond to but I'll focus on what you said about mercury.

First off, over half of the mercury in the atmosphere comes from natural sources. And the government estimates that as much as 70 percent of all of the mercury that is deposited in U.S. waterways come from emission sources outside the United States.

Coal-based power plants in the United States contribute about 1% of total global emissions.

The United States is the only country in the world to regulate utility mercury emissions. About three years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency released new stringent rules to regulate mercury emissions from power plants in the United States. The reduction required is a 70 percent reduction in utility mercury emissions from U.S. power plants, resulting in the need for the industry to invest about $52 billion in new technology.

Human exposure to methyl mercury comes from fish. The methyl mercury in ocean fish comes mostly from natural sources in the deep oceans — there has been methyl mercury in ocean fish since there were fish. Given that our nation’s power plants account for only 1% of global mercury emissions, eliminating them would have no detectable effect on fish.

A Siegel said...

Thank you for this. I am going to strive to help spread the message re this.

By the way, did you ever see "30 Days to Save the Mountains"?

Toby Rogers said...
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Toby Rogers said...
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RFK Action Front said...

Hi A. Siegel! Thanks for the comment! I love your blog!

I followed 30 days to save the mountains on DailyKos. I also liked your post on it. But is there also a film or YouTube video or something?

RFK Action Front said...

To: David, with ABEC:

I have responded at length to your comment in a post here.

Did you really think it would work to call the EPA regulations "stringent rules" when you knew they were written by the coal lobby, they were a weakening of the Clean Air Act, and they had been thrown out by the D.C. Circuit Court a few weeks ago?

To come in here with those dishonest industry talking points in defense of polluters who are literally poisoning our kids and our families is just beyond comprehension to me.