By Skyler Simmons
Yep, for any of you who were still under the illusion that the Democrats might actually do something useful in regards to climate change, don’t get your hopes up. The most recent Democratic presidential debate on Nov 15 was sponsored by, among other climate criminals, our wonderful friends in the coal industry. Americas Power a new front group for the dirty coal industry had its logo prominently displayed on a full page ad in the New York Times for the most recent round of Democratic debates.
Using the slogan “Clean Coal, Americas Power” this corporate greenwash group counts among it members a laundry list of the worst polluters in the US including Duke Energy, Peabody Coal, and American Electric Power, all of whom are currently attempting to build new coal plants using old dirty technology. Not to mention Arch Coal and Massey Energy two of the largest coal companies responsible for the destructive practice known as mountaintop removal mining. Americas Power’s goals appear to be:
– Expand coal production by using government-funded technology to convert coal to vehicle fuels, thereby producing twice as much global warming pollution as gas production, and consuming huge amounts of water to boot.
– Crank out as many new power plants as possible before limits on greenhouse gas pollution take effect. Nearly 150 coal-fired power plants are already on the drawing board.
– Delay and weaken any limits on CO2 pollution, even though scientists tell us we need a 90% reduction by 2050.
– Maintain the destructive practice of mountaintop removal coal mining.
Once again the coal industry is trying to paint itself as a clean industry, while continuing business as usual. Clean coal is an oxymoron. From mining to burning the coal industry is responsible for countless environmental and human rights atrocities. In the meantime the Democratic Party appears to be embracing the coal industry, which if not curtailed will surely push us passed the tipping point of catastrophic climate change.
The sponsorship of the Democratic Party by the coal industry is yet another reason why we must look beyond electoral politics to solve the climate crisis. It is clear that both parties are in the pockets of corporations and only a grassroots movement organizing for people’s power, not corrupt political organizations, will be effective in bringing about the changes we need in the face of climate change.