For months, we have been bombarded by ads from the coal-gas-oil lobbies., running the “clean coal” ads, is sponsored by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, a partnership of the industries involved in producing electricity from coal. First, there is no such thing as “clean coal,” as we in Maine, who have for decades been dumped on by power plants to our west, should well know. The industry has always claimed that clean-coal technology, if it existed, would be too expensive to implement. Second, do they expect their ads to cause us to buy coal? Not likely. So what do they want?

More recently, they have dropped the second shoe. The country is in crisis (what better time to try to panic people?). Now is not the time to “overregulate” the coal industry, they warn. In the interest of jobs and “cheap energy,” we should let the government know that we demand hands-off. And if that fouls our air and lungs, so what? Jobs and dirty energy are more important than disease and lives, especially when the industry does not have to pay for either.

The natural-gas cabal has been using the same patriotic message to stymie regulation of fracking — injecting water and chemicals into the earth to retrieve natural gas. As landowners and more enlightened state governments realize the threat to their air and water and land stability, fracking is acquiring a well-deserved, jaundiced view. Other states, long known as “friendly to mining interests,” don’t seem to care, preferring income over the well-being of their residents.

And the Keystone Pipeline lobby would have us believe that running a pipeline over a major aquifer is preferable to routing around it.

Corporate America: Looking out for our best interests.

Paul W. Dutram


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