Smearing Coal

Readers of the Wall Street Journal this morning will have noticed several really expensive ads depicting pretty faces smeared with coal dust and the headline “Face it: Coal is filthy.”

I wrote about this on The NRO Corner when these ads started running in Texas. They aren’t financed by the usual enviro groups, but by a shadowy organization called the Clean Sky Coalition. As is its right, it doesn’t reveal its funding, but the Austin American Statesman discovered that it is funded by natural gas corporations. It’s as clear as case of bootleggers joining baptists as you could ever find.

The Dallas Morning News had the following to say:


The secretive group responsible for the “Coal is Filthy” advertising campaign should come clean about its moneymen and motives. The newly created Texas Clean Sky Coalition has tried to link itself to established environmental groups while conveniently failing to mention that some of its funding comes from competitors who own natural gas power plants. Coal is a dirty and dangerous way to meet our state’s energy needs, but these shadowy tactics stink up the debate.

Well, coal is also the most efficient way to get affordable energy to people, and air standards in Dallas are pretty good. Arguing that coal is something it isn’t in order to get a competitive advantage by legislation that one can’t get via the free market is actually a pretty filthy practice itself.