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Decades Of Deception: The Coal Industry Has Advertised ‘Clean Coal’ Since At Least 1921

Greenpeace campaign reveals the history of coal industry spin

Coal is clean! Environmental regulations will cripple the economy! Scientific evidence about coal pollution and the environment is inadequate and uncertain! Sound familiar? Big Coal relies on these arguments today in order to block environmental and public health protections.

Searching through newspaper archives, Greenpeace investigated the history of Big Coal's advertising to assess how the industry's arguments have changed over the years. The answer? Not much.

For at least five decades, the coal industry deployed deceptive advertising campaigns to scrub its image and delay important clean air standards. An intriguing pattern surfaces of increased rhetoric and advertising whenever rumors of environmental protections circulate.  Once government agencies pass air quality regulations, the coal industry then spins their required cleanup using technologies they once opposed as a big achievement.

It's time for Big Coal to stop crying wolf. Check out Greenpeace's slideshow highlighting a handful of Big Coal advertisements.


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