'Reality' Coalition Launches Campaign Debunking 'Clean Coal' Myth

For Immediate Release

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
Contact: 

Julia Bovey, 202-289-2420

'Reality' Coalition Launches Campaign Debunking 'Clean Coal' Myth

Calls on Coal Industry to Live up to the Promise of So-Called 'Clean Coal'

MENLO PARK, Calif. - Today, the Alliance for Climate Protection, League of Conservation Voters, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council and Sierra Club launched the "Reality" Coalition, a national grassroots and advertising effort to tell a simple truth:  in reality, there is no such thing as "clean coal."  
 

Environmental
experts agree that coal is the dirtiest fuel America uses to produce
electricity. The "Reality" Coalition, then, is challenging the coal
industry to come clean - in its advertising andin its operations. Coal cannot be considered clean until its carbon dioxide emissions are captured and stored.
 

"The
reality is that there's not a single home or business in America today
powered by clean coal," said Brian Hardwick of the Alliance for Climate
Protection. "If coal really wants to be part of America's energy
future, the industry can start by making a real commitment to
eliminating their pollution that is a leading cause of global warming."
 

Hardwick
continued: "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. No
matter how much they say it in their advertising, coal can't truly be
clean until the plants can capture the global warming pollution. With
so much at stake, we can't afford to hang our hats on an illusion."
 

Beginning
today, the "Reality" Coalition will launch a multi-million dollar ad
campaign, running in print, broadcast and online media and supported by
the website, www.ThisIsReality.org. The
ads were designed and produced by Boulder, Colorado-based Crispin
Porter + Bogusky, the agency responsible for the ground-breaking
"Truth" anti-tobacco campaign.  

The
first "Reality" print ad shows a solitary door labeled "Clean Coal
Facility Entrance." Behind the door, though, lies a barren field. "In
reality, there's no such thing as clean coal," the ad states. 
 

The
ad continues: "Coal is one of the leading causes of global warming.
 But that hasn't stopped the coal industry from advertising clean coal.
Yet, the truth is there isn't a single commercial coal plant in America
today that captures its global warming pollution. Learn more about what
the coal industry is not telling you ..."
 

Reality's first TV ad follows the same premise and can be viewed at www.thisisreality.org.
 

"The
coal industry has spent hundreds of millions promoting ‘clean coal'
technology, but in reality, there is not a single large-scale
demonstration project in the United States for capturing and safely
burying all of coal's CO2 emissions," Vice President Gore
said. "The industry must make good its promise if they truly want to do
their part to solve the climate crisis. Until that happens, coal cannot
be called ‘clean'."
 

The
"Reality" Coalition today echoes the call made by former Vice President
and Alliance for Climate Protection Chairman Al Gore in a recent New York Times op-ed that until coal is truly clean, there should be no new coal-fired power plants built in America.
 

"The
coal industry is running a cynical and dishonest campaign to mislead
the American people, while they stand in the way of real solutions,"
said Gene Karpinski, President of the League of Conservation Voters.
"The ‘Reality' Coalition is aimed at holding them accountable for their
outlandish claims."
 

Added
Natural Resources Defense Council President Frances Beinecke: "Big coal
is spending millions to make us think that coal use today is ‘clean.'
But all their dirty money can't hide the truth -- coal as it's used
today is the dirtiest climate-killing fuel on earth."
 

"Everyone
has a role to play in creating our clean energy future," said Sierra
Club Executive Director Carl Pope. "It's time for the coal industry to
stop fighting against efforts to bring about a green economy and
instead start living up to its clean coal rhetoric." 

"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." 

About the "Reality" Coalition

The
"Reality" Campaign is sponsored by the Reality Coalition, a joint
project of the Alliance for Climate Protection, League of Conservation
Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Wildlife Federation
and Sierra Club. The Reality Campaign tells the truth about coal today
-- it isn't clean. We are challenging the coal industry to come clean
-- in its advertising and in its operations.

 

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The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, nonprofit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has 1.2 million members and online activists, served from offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Beijing.

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