Even More Coal PR

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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Climate Progress reports on yet another feat of coal PR: A new campaign called the Federation for American Coal, Energy, and Security, or, for short, FACES of Coal. Welcome, FACES, to the  party: Your compatriots will include Citizens for Coal, Friends of Coal, and the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, now famous for their achievements in astroturf.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting has a story about a coal-industry-sponsored team of 10-year-old athletes whose tournament trip to Tennessee was cut short so they could come back to West Virginia and play a game clad in FACES of Coal tees for the launch of the campaign. The team’s shortstop told WVPB she didn’t mind coming home early. “It was mostly the kids’ idea because we really wanted to go down there and show them that coal is important.”

Of course they do. That shortstop’s dad is a surface miner, after all, and it’s fair to say that the nefarious motives of the folks behind the FACES campaign are well beyond the comprehension of a ten-year-old. But there’s just something unsettling about the coal industry using kids to convey their disingenuous message. Again.

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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