Coal industry magnates, who stand to lose big if new pollution standards become law, reportedly spent between $35 million and $45 million on advertising this year pitching “clean coal” as a new environmentally friendly fuel, Washington Times reports.
Dan Weiss, who co-authored the study on how much the coal industry spent on advertising and lobbying for clean coal compared with how much they spent on research, estimates that for every $17 members of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Energy earned in profits in 2007, they spent $1 on researching carbon reduction technologies.
Critics of “clean coal” say the concept is somewhat ambiguous because it involves carbon reduction technologies that are still 10-15 years from being built for American plants.
“They spend very little in research and spend a lot of money in trying to convince people not to make them do anything,” said Weiss on a conference call with reporters. “The hypocrisy comes in when you look at what they’re actually doing.”
In March, The Alliance for Climate Protection launched a three year, $300 million global warming marketing campaign.
Major U.S. automakers and industry trade associations spent $62.6 million on lobbying in 2007, compared with $50.3 million in 2006. The energy bills and the Bush administration’s efforts to craft new fuel rules dominated their spending.