Duke Energy Pulls Support for Dirty ‘Clean Coal’ Lobby
Utility withdraws from the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, the troubled coal industry group
Duke Energy, the North Carolina-based electric utility announced on Wednesday it would be leaving the clean coal lobbying group, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), over differences with the organization’s opposition to clean energy and climate legislation being considered by Congress.
Officials from Duke Energy said that “While some individual members of ACCCE are working to pass climate change legislation, we believe ACCCE is constrained by influential member companies who will not support passing climate change legislation in 2009 or 2010.”
Duke said that ACCCE’s position is not consistent with Duke Energy’s work to pass economy-wide and cost effective climate change legislation as soon as possible.
“As the debate evolved, it became clear that there were some influential members who would never support climate legislation no matter what,” Duke spokesman Tom Williams told the press this morning.
ACCCE is no stranger to controversy. From its vague and misleading television commercials and Christmas carol-singing lumps of coal, to its failed attempts at astroturfing with fraudulent phone calls and forged letters, the group seems to have a strategy of do everything at any and all costs to scare the public and muddy the science and reality of so-called “clean coal.”
“It is clear that ACCCE does not have the best interests of the American public at heart,” said Bruce Nilles, Director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, in a statement released today. Nilles said that ACCCE’s only goal is to preserve the status quo for coal, and that they’ll do whatever it takes to do so.
“The defection of Duke Energy is a clear sign that this front group has gone too far—even for energy companies like Duke that are heavily invested in coal and are attempting to build even more polluting coal plants,” said Nilles.
In May, Duke also left the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) for differences it had with the group’s climate and energy agenda.
Duke Energy owns and operates 36,000 megawatts of base-load and peak generation that it distributes to its 4 million customers.
Image via NIOSH under a Creative Commons License