Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Coal's Big Guns Turned On South Carolinians

So who are these "Americans for Balanced Energy Choices" anyway, and why are they so concerned about the future of coal in South Carolina?

Are you surprised that they are a fake "grass-roots" organization fronting for a coal industry trade organization (the similarly innocuously titled "Center for Energy and Economic Development")?

No? How about that its president is a registered lobbyist for the coal industry or that its executive director is a former employee of the Kentucky Department of Mines and Minerals (which presides over mountaintop removal mining in that state).

Read more about them here and here. Here's a transcript from PBS's MacNeil/Lehrer program in which ABEC's executive director squares off with Jeff Goodel, author of Big Coal.

Interested in some of ABEC's past work? Here is a particularly heinous example in which they exploit children to communicate their "truths" about coal. I find it hard to stomach, and agree with this gentlemen's assessment of these guys.

But perhaps there is a silver lining to Big Coal turning its big guns on the people of South Carolina. ABEC's has recently deployed in Nevada and Pennsylvania as well, two states where big coal feels like it is losing some ground as coal plant proposals meet increasingly fierce opposition.

The same must be true here, thanks to a truly grass-roots network of folks opposed to the Pee Dee plant that is growing everyday. ABEC's sudden appearance is proof of the popularity of the anti-Pee Dee plant message.

Now Santee Cooper is calling in reinforcements from these out-of-state spin doctors.

South Carolinians won't fall for it.

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