Greenwash of the Week: Coal industry buys off CNN debates

posted by Luke Ran

GreenwashComing to us via Think Progress:

In Democratic presidential debate last night, CNN once again failed to ask any questions about global warming. Perhaps not surprisingly, last night’s debate was sponsored by the coal front group Americans for Balanced Energy Choices (ABEC).

Considering that this is an ongoing greenwash and a blatant attempt to buy the presidential candidates’ silence on one of the most important issues facing the human race, “greenwash of the century” is probably more accurate. “Americans for Balanced Energy Choices,” the coal industry front group funding the debates, is trying to defend the indefensible. No reasonable argument can be made for allowing the construction of new coal-fired power plants at this point in time, but they’re hoping to build as many new coal plants as possible before the public catches on. All the industry has left are PR smoke-screens (talk of unproven, hypothetical carbon-capture schemes, the myth of clean coal) and outright bribery. Either CNN is even more clueless than their usual coverage would suggest or the coal industry has succeeded in paying off the network to ignore global warming during the debates.

In other words, because the industry knows that they would lose on the merits if any real debate were to be had about coal in this country, they have actually bought out the presidential debates to prevent one from taking place. It’s part of a massive industry greenwashing campaign to keep us burning as much coal as possible for as long as possible. Their efforts have been pretty successful, and not just on CNN: across all major networks in 2007, reporters asked candidates 2769 questions; just 3 were about global warming.