Did Clean Coal Exec Lie to Congress? Twice?

Image via TPM

Woops. Looks like the clean coal lobby may have got caught red-handed. Some people are suggesting that American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity president and CEO Steve Miller may have lied under oath in a Senate hearing held to investigate the org's involvement in forging letters sent to Congress that opposed the climate bill. In the video after the jump, a coal executive attempts to explain his organization's operations. Think Progress sums up the setting:

Today, the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming held a hearing investigating fraudulent letters forged by Bonner & Associates on behalf of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) to attack the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454). As the Wonk Room's Brad Johnson has reported, ACCCE President and CEO Steve Miller lied under oath when he told the committee that his organization has never opposed clean energy legislation.
In other words, ACCCE paid Bonner to do fake grassroots work to drum up opposition to the climate bill. Bonner forged letters, supposed to be from influential progressive groups like the NAACP, and sent them to Congressmen, asking them not to vote for climate legislation. Highly illegal.

Now, in the hearing held to investigate the letters, the ACCCE attempts damage control by lying about their organization's history:

First Clean Coal Lobby Misstep
Okay, so what's so bad about that? According to think Progress:

Miller's claim is another example of the coal industry's perjury under oath. In a six month period of 2007 alone, ACCCE, under its previous name of Americans for Balanced Energy Choices, spent $2,660,000 lobbying the federal government. Senate disclosures show that the organization has spent millions more lobbying since 2001.

Second Lobbying Misstep
But that's not all. Brad Johnson of the Wonk Room points out that elsewhere in his testimony, "ACCCE chief Steve Miller told Congress his organization has never opposed the legislation . . .The record shows otherwise."

The Wonk Room provides three pieces of evidence that they believe prove shows ACCCE absolutely opposed climate legislation, via:

ACCCE Called Waxman-Markey A 'High-Risk Proposition.' On June 18, a week before the House of Representatives voted on the legislation, ACCCE ran a full-page ad in Politico with the headline, "If a climate bill goes too far, too fast it could keep us from getting where we need to go." The ad described the greenhouse gas pollution reductions in H.R. 2454 as a "high risk proposition."

ACCCE Criticized Waxman-Markey For 'Skyrocketing Energy Costs.' On June 18, ACCCE published on its website the claim that Waxman-Markey could "have consumers paying higher costs for decades." "In its current form, H.R. 2454 does not do enough to guarantee that consumers are protected against skyrocketing energy costs."

ACCCE Said It 'Cannot Support' Waxman-Markey. Following the passage of the legislation in a 217-213 House vote on June 26, ACCCE issued a statement in opposition to the legislation: "ACCCE cannot support this bill, as it is written, because the legislation still does not adequately protect consumers and the domestic economy or ensure that the American people can continue to enjoy the benefits of affordable, reliable electricity, which has been so important to our nation."

Now, we're used to lobbyists and politicians bending the truth, and often doing so right in front of our faces, that sometimes we forget that it's against the law.

More on the Climate Bill Forgery Scandal
Scandal Erupts Over Forged Anti-Climate Bill Letters
Five More Forged Letters to Congress Opposing Climate Bill
The 8 Dirtiest Tricks Played by Foes of Clean Energy Reform

Tags: Carbon Emissions | Coal | Congress | United States


treehugger slideshows