Skip to main content

The Republican National Committee Just Officially Declared That Coal Is “Clean”

Well, that was easy!

 

This story was originally published by Grist and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

The Republican platform committee met in Cleveland the week before the Republican National Convention to hammer out the party’s policies in a Trump era. Not to be outdone by Democrats, who approved the party’s strongest platform language yet on climate change this weekend, Republicans have gone as far as possible in the other direction—by endorsing coal as clean.

After a unanimous vote on Monday, the RNC’s draft platform officially declares coal “an abundant, clean, affordable, reliable domestic energy resource.”

David Barton, a delegate from Texas, proposed the single-word edit to the RNC’s already-glowing list of adjectives on coal in its platform draft. “I would insert the adjective ‘clean’ along with coal, particularly because the technology we have now,” was Barton’s reasoning. (You can watch a clip of the vote on C-SPAN).

For years the coal industry—and at one point, even President Barack Obama—promoted the idea of “clean coal,” that expensive and imperfect carbon-capture-and-storage technology could someday make coal less terrible. But there’s no way it is clean.

The RNC language just happens to reflect the same talking points favored by the lobby group American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, which on its website calls coal “an affordable, abundant and increasingly clean domestic energy resource that is vital to providing reliable low-cost electricity.”

The RNC copied most of that language correctly, give or take a few words.

 

More Mother Jones reporting on Climate Desk

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We Noticed You Have An Ad Blocker On.

Can you pitch in a few bucks to help fund Mother Jones' investigative journalism? We're a nonprofit (so it's tax-deductible), and reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget.

We noticed you have an ad blocker on. Can you pitch in a few bucks to help fund Mother Jones' investigative journalism?