"New Coal Ads Emphasize Energy Costs in Bid for 'Hearts and Minds'"

"Coal's well-funded lobbying group today launched a television ad campaign featuring ordinary people talking about the importance of low-cost electricity, a message analysts described as coal's effort to rebrand itself before the Senate tackles climate legislation.

The campaign from the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), an alliance of coal and utility companies, features 30-second unscripted spots with a electric-utility executive, an Ohio small-business owner and a St. Louis, Mo., energy efficiency consultant. Two-minute Internet videos offer similar messages on cost, availability and the environmental strides made by coal-fired utilities.

The ads come as ACCCE pushes forcefully to gain support for coal. The lobbying group just rolled out a so-called citizens army of more than 200,000 volunteers to visit town hall meetings and other functions attended by members of Congress, where they will ask questions about energy policy. That effort is aimed at influencing senators, particularly those from states that rely on coal for power."

Anne C. Mulkern reports for Greenwire August 14, 2009.

Monday, August 17, 2009