We’re always hearing about how much clean energy will “cost.” Now, at least, we know how much it costs Big Coal to fight against progress, good-paying jobs and public health.
ACCCE’s most recent IRS filing, obtained by Greenwire (sub. req’d), lists the contributions to the coalition by the nation’s biggest coal companies. Arch Coal Inc., Consol Energy Inc., and Peabody Energy Corp. each chipped in $5 million; Foundation Coal Corp. gave $3 million, Southern Co. $2.1 million, and American Electric Power Co. Inc. and Duke Energy Corp. (which has since left the group) gave $2 million. ACCCE is among the biggest spenders when it comes to influencing the debate on climate and energy.
Even better, while they’re lobbying against clean energy, they’re attempting to sell our lawmakers on the snake oil of “clean coal,” while, um, forgetting to develop the technology. Whoops.
But for all their expensive efforts to sell the public on the wonders of clean coal, ACCCE isn’t working quite as hard to make the technology a reality. The coalition’s members have committed the comparatively paltry sum of $3.6 billion to research the technology between 2003 and 2017, according to an April report from the Center for American Progress. That’s just $257 million on average each year to develop the technology to capture and sequester carbon. To put that in perspective, ACCCE’s members made a combined total of $297 billion in profits between 2003 and 2008â€”meaning, as the report notes, that they’re spending less than two cents on clean coal research for every $1 of profit.
My two cents? Don’t believe the hype.