The American public heard a lot about “clean coal” during the election this year, but a new campaign from the Reality Coalition argues it simply doesn’t exist.
A multimillion-dollar TV, print and online campaign, via Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Boulder, Colo., gives a tour of a “state of the art clean coal facility” in order to set the record straight.
A TV spot that began running on network TV this week stars a hard-hat wearing, clipboard-toting guide who invites viewers on a tour of the facility. But when he walks through the door, he is in a barren field. “The machinery is kind of loud,” he shouts above the wind, “but that is the sound of clean coal technology.” He goes on to explain that while burning coal is a leading cause of global warming, the “remarkable clean coal technology you see here changes everything.” The spot ends with the on-screen message “In reality, there is no such thing as clean coal” and the Web site address ThisIsReality.org.
“It is high time for the coal industry to come clean and admit to the American people that today clean coal is not a reality,” said Brian Hardwick of the Alliance for Climate Protection in a statement. “No matter how much they say it in their advertising, coal can’t truly be clean until the plants can capture global warming pollution. With so much at stake, we can’t afford to hang our hats on an illusion.”
The Reality Coalition is a joint project of the Alliance for Climate Protection, League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Wildlife Federation and the Sierra Club.
“We need to clean up coal, not spend billions on a scheme to market coal as clean,” said Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “It’s time to build a better energy future with existing clean sources like wind and solar that will create jobs, boost our economy and confront the climate crisis head-on.”