Greenwash Of The Week: ACCCE’s Obama/Clean Coal Ads.


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In case you did not know, the ACCCE stands for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. These are the people who keep running ads about how great “clean coal” is, and how it’s going to create millions of “green” jobs. (Great video of the clean coal myth here) They are running ads (one of which I saw just yesterday) that splice together words from Obama’s speeches that were not even in the same sentence, making it seem as though Obama is pushing a clean coal agenda and that it will create tons of new jobs. Only problem? Obama never said that. Sure, he mentioned clean coal as being one aspect of possible energy sources, which did not endear him with environmentalists, but he did not say that the technology itself would create millions of jobs. I went looking for some information about these ads, and found that Greenpeace had already written a letter to the ACCCE about this campaign, and called them out on their apparent greenwashing. Here is what their letter said:


Immediately after President Obama’s inauguration speech, you began running television ads that splice together quotes of the President’s in a manner promoting “clean coal” but deliberately misrepresenting his energy campaign platform. Buying the very first ad run on CNN after the speech shows the weight of the $40 million dollars you have spent in the past year on prime advertising real estate.

The footage in your latest ad was apparently taken from President Obama’s September 9th speech in Lebanon, VA. The ad shows him saying, “[C]lean coal technology is something that can make American energy independent.” Then a screen with text flashes “Clean Coal – creating jobs” before another video clip from the same speech with the President’s words: “And by the way, we can create five million new jobs, in clean energy technologies.”

The ad thereby implies that President Obama intends to create five million jobs with “clean coal,” which you know is false. The President’s New Energy For America plan outlines the creation of “five million new green jobs” with a broad swath of investments in energy efficiency, weatherizing homes, aggressive deployment of renewable energy and plug-in hybrid cars. Coal is the next to last thing on the list. Even in your wildest dreams, so called “clean coal” will never create millions of jobs.

In addition, your ad co-opted President Obama’s signature inspirational campaign slogan, dubbing in a crowd chant of “Yes we can!” over what in real life was just a round of applause.

Greenpeace considers the myth of “clean coal” and Carbon Capture and Storage to be a dangerous distraction and false solution to the climate crisis. As prioritized by Energy Secretary Chu and the President’s agenda, energy efficiency and renewable energy have stronger and more crucial role to play in America’s energy future. However, regardless of differences of opinion on the role of coal in our nation’s energy future, false advertising and misinformation is unacceptable.

We call on you to withdraw this ad campaign and publicly redress these false representations of President Obama’s environmental policy. Your misinformation campaign around clean coal continues to corrupt an informed debate in the quest for energy alternatives, environmental security, and real energy solutions.



The greenwashers never sleep; that’s why it is so important to stay aware and not fall into the trap that they try to set for people. If it sounds too good to be true…

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  1. Thanks for the information, there is so much spin out there, it is hard to sift through all of it.
    Go Green Peace! Well, you know where I am coming from now, since we plan on living here for a long time.

  2. Hi This is regarding to clean coal technology am interesting to read this type of site so I almost Encourage this type site.. Keep it up



  3. Here here! I’ve had enough of people talking about clean coal. There is nothing clean about burning coal. Green washing and those who bask in it should be smothered (in a green way of course).

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