Coal’s Dirty Money Funding Anti-Climate Bill Campaign


The coal industry and utilities have already spent an incredible $77.8 million on lobbying Congress this year. And that figure doesn’t even include all those television ads that bombard the cable news channels all day trying to tell us how dirty coal maybe, someday, possibly, might not be quite as dirty anymore.

We learned yesterday that some of that coal industry money has gone, intentionally or not, to bankroll phony letters to members of Congress. It turns out the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity had contracted with Bonner & Associates to do outreach against climate action.

And now Grist reports more fraudulent letters have turned up in more Congressional offices:

[T]he number of confirmed forged letters has increased to 12. Pennsylvania Reps. Kathy Dahlkemper and Chris Carney, who both voted against the House climate bill, also received fake letters. These letters also appear to be from Bonner & Associates, according to an ACCCE document.

“It’s not enough they have more money than god,” an NWF colleague fumed yesterday. “They have to lie, too.”

The coal industry will do or say anything — even lie — to derail a comprehensive clean energy and climate plan. Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) has already launched a Congressional investigation into these phony letters, and hopefully the Department of Justice will follow suit. We need to get to the bottom of this.

Photo courtesy The Library of Congress on Flickr

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Published: August 4, 2009