Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

Clean coal wishful thinkers part ways with disgraced lobbying firm

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Thanks, but no thanks. So said the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) to the black-sheep lobby shop Bonner & Associates, which was caught sending forged letters opposing the Waxman-Markey bill to three members of Congress. In the wake of this scandal, first reported by the Charlottesville Daily Progress back in late-July, it seems ACCCE is making the wise decision to relieve Bonner from its employ

But as others have noted, ACCCE is no innocent actor in this story. They were made aware of the forgeries on June 24, 2009 by the Hawthorn Group, an ACCCE client that hired Bonner & Associates on ACCCE’s behalf to reach out to local groups in the districts of key members of Congress.

The timing here is important. The House vote on Waxman-Markey didn’t occur until June 26, 2009, two days later, which means ACCCE knew about Bonner’s mendacious community outreach "strategy" in advance of the vote (Two of the three House members who received forged letters voted "no."). Despite this knowledge, ACCCE didn’t act on their "high ethical and professional standards" until Aug. 3, days after the story was first reported, and over a month after they were made aware of the issue.

Do you trust the clean coal chorus? I sure don’t.

Sam Edmondson was a campaign manager on air toxics issues from 2010 until 2012. He helped organize the first 50 States United for Healthy Air event. His desire to work at an environmental organization came from the belief that if we don't do something to change our unsustainable ways, we are in big trouble.