Anti-coal TV campaign goes Hollywood

February 27, 2009

A U.S. anti-coal campaign has gone Hollywood with a new TV spot directed by Academy Award-winning filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen of “No Country for Old Men” and “Fargo” fame.

The Reality Coalition, a project backed by environmental groups Alliance for Climate Protection, Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the League of Conservation Voters, launched the ad this week.

Entitled “Air Freshener,” it features a product pitchman entering a family’s home with a spray can labeled “Clean Coal” that spews black, cough-inducing fumes.

“Is regular clean, clean enough for your family? Not when you can have Clean Coal
clean,” he says.

The ad, designed and produced by ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky, is designed as a response to a series of coal industry-backed television spots and other ads promoting “clean coal,” or technology to capture and store the global warming emissions from coal-fired power plants. Environmentalists argue that the industry’s ads are misleading because clean coal does not exist yet on a commercial scale. The industry, however, says coal is an abundant and cheap resource that the U.S. cannot do without.

Despite U.S. President Barack Obama’s green leanings, however, he has been a supporter of research into clean coal technology. Earlier this week, his budget proposal included $15 billion for technologies, including clean coal, that keep carbon out of the atmosphere.

Check it out the Coen brothers’ ad below. It is the first of a series directed by the famous duo.


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Great – now how about an ad addressing the environmental disaster that is coal mining. Mountain top removal, poisoned rivers, dead landscape – yup brought to you by the “clean” coal folks. American land of the dead landscape.

Posted by Jerez Amiga | Report as abusive

coal produces 45% of us energy, and is largely mined in states which voted for obama. to say that there is ni such thing as clean coal is pure bunk, as necessity is always the mother of invention. would our hollywood illuminati like a nuclear plant in their back yards? if no, then kindly lighten up

Posted by jd | Report as abusive

Sure there is such a thing as Clean Coal.

It is called Nuclear Energy (Which actually produces less radiation than coal.)

Posted by stephen Heesacker | Report as abusive

Jerez is right folks. Pristine forest and wild lands are necessary to filter, clean and enrich with minerals our drinking water. Conservation of land and mining in general are pretty much incompatible activities. We can mitigate this by conserving on our use of mined materials and in turn extend our reserves far into the future.

Our best hope to produce sufficient energy in a sustainable fashion is to use energy more efficiently and move towards solar, wind and hydrogen cell approach for generation in the near term. The Euro Reactor is just moving from pilot stage and still untested. Fusion is still not possible.

Posted by Anubis | Report as abusive

Coal mining is actually a leader in preserving ecosystems and promoting ecological research during the environmental permitting stage of putting a mine together. Throughout mine life teams of environmental engineers work to restore the natural flora and fauna in mined-out areas, in fact many areas that were once mines are now wildlife preserves. Mining companies carry liability for the environmental state of mining land into perpetuity and have a real financial stake in success of the land restoration efforts. Clean coal is achievable, but it needs time to be put into effect, just like renewable sources such as solar and wind.

Posted by miner | Report as abusive

Miner, you fail to mention the copious amounts of water required for most mining operations. Have you heard about glacial ice retreat. This is the most significant source of potable water in many regions of the planet and it is melting away. How much water do we have to waste?

Secondly there is no such thing as clean coal. Carbon capture under ground is the solution for burning fossil fuels. This is much like nuclear waste fuel storage. Hanford Washington is a perfect example of such a disaster. Low grade plutonium waste is leaking into the underground water supply with no way to stop it. This approach is okay as long as the storage device doesn’t leak. Typically this would be an underground cavity left from resource extraction. What happens in the event of tectonic plate shifts that allow the captured CO2 to leak back in the atmosphere? How clean is that coal then?

Listening to the coal industry for answers is not so wise. We have already made that mistake with the auto industry. Perhaps now is the time to sacrifice and make amends for our short sighted behavior as nation. We should demand that our taxes be used to build 21st century energy infrastructure. This would be a far better course than preserving old ways and their vested interests.

Posted by Anubis | Report as abusive

Hi,I live in the mountain,s of Eastern Kentucky,Harlan County,I live where there is coal minning,and I want people to know the mine operator’s here have no compassion for communities when they need to haul coal from coal mines down thur our communitie’s creating the most undesireable living condition;s ever.TVA’s ash spill is nothing compared to what the operator’s here do.We live along ky 38 and the coal companies mine their coal and load it on to coal truck’s come off mine property,with mine silth,rock dust,coal dust,mudd,and anything the trucks get on their wheel’s before they enter the road.All that stuff is coming off the truck’s as they travel to their preparation plant’s where they clean the coal and then load it onto train’s to go to utility plant’s.What about our health.What about our home’s.We can’t go out side without having to breath all the stuff.Some even from what I can find even causes cancer and lung problem’s,we actually have worse condition’s then the people who are working there.Where is the State to protect us from this.The Lord know’s we have called a million time’s nothing ever get’s any better,it is only getting worse.I invite you to see for yourselves.They could clean it up some with a truck wash,before they enter the highway.They can pave the haul road’s to the mine load pit where they load the trucks.They can tarp the trucks.They can run the proper deisel fuel.They want do anything.The state can’t make them.I hope and pray some people have mercy on us in the coal minning area’s,as life here is very bad.I hate having to live here I worry about my health,and my neigbor’s health.Please pray for us that the coal operator’s will have mercy on us and our home’s and clean it up.

Posted by Protect The People In Minning Communities We Need Help | Report as abusive