What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell us
The Greenwash Brigade

Clean coal is whatever we say it is!

Heidi Siegelbaum Mar 9, 2009

The Reality Coalition, spearheaded by the Alliance for Climate Protection, hired the Coen Brothers to produce a peppery retort to clean coal supporters in this fabulous Clean Coal Air Freshener Ad. The voiceover: “clean coal clean harnesses the awesome power of the word ‘clean’ to make it sound like the cleanest there is.”

The coal industry spent $40 million in advertising in one of the most hateful oxymorons of the century: Clean Coal. It’s reminiscent of the Bush Administration’s Clean Skies and Healthy Forest Initiatives whereby any molting PR whiz can attach a resplendent clean, healthy or natural label to anything and just — presto — make it whatever they want it to be! Merriam-Webster is very unhappy about adulterating the word “clean,” but not more unhappy than the Reality Coalition, which paid for the Clean Coal ad.

You can also check out the sullied history of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity here, including the quadrupling of its advertising and PR budget to $30 million in just one year, curiously just before the Presidential elections.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.