Coal’s Greatest Hits, 2009 Edition

Photo courtesy of ACCCE.

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Santa’s on his way, which means it’s time for that great year-end tradition: the listicle! Thus, we bring you the Top 10 Most Evil and/or Ridiculous Things Done By or On Behalf Of Coal in 2009, in descending order.

10. Coal’s favorite congressman, Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), jumping out of a plane to show his support for coal.

9. Industry group using iStockphotos instead of real people in their “grassroots” FACES of Coal campaign.

8. West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin (D) declaring coal the official state rock.

7. Handing out coal propaganda to kids.

6. Republican House members circulating talking points straight from the coal industry.

5. Coal lobby gets more than $60 billion in handouts for “clean” coal in the House cap-and-trade bill while avoiding the vast majority of regulations—but still opposes the legislation.

4. The West Virginia Chamber of Commerce pushing senators to hold health care legislation hostage until the Obama administration ends its “war on coal.”

3. Steve Miller, CEO of Americans for Clean Coal Electricity, the main coal lobby group, appearing to lie under oath about the organization’s views on climate legislation in a congressional hearing.

2. ACCCE misrepresenting two major veterans’ groups in an email hyping coal’s role in energy security.

1. Bonner and Associates sending forged letters to Congress (for ACCCE) claiming to be on behalf of veteran groups, minorities, women, and senior citizens.

Got your own reccomendations? Weigh in below.

While we’re at it, who can forget 2008’s greatest hit, the Clean Coal Carolers? Last Christmas, they brought us delightful hits like “Clean Coal Night,” “Deck the Halls with Clean Coal,” and “O Technology,” at least until some PR person at ACCCE realized what an awful idea this was and yanked them off the internet. Thank goodness Treehugger saved the video for posterity. Here’s my personal favorite, “Frosty the Coal Man”:


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend