ACCCE to Spend $20 Million on Online Media Campaign

Posted by Wonk Room Sat, 07 Mar 2009 15:07:00 GMT

From the Wonk Room.

The top public relations group for the coal industry is looking to shape public attitudes online, with a $20 million media budget for Internet-based advertising alone. The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) is on the search for a “Vice President, Paid and Digital Media” to increase the public’s “appreciation for the use of coal”:
The Vice President, Paid and Digital Media is responsible for implementing proactive digital media and traditional media placement strategies as a component of an integrated national communication program designed to 1) support coal-based electricity advocacy initiatives and 2) increase the public’s awareness of and appreciation for the use of coal to generate electricity.

This position, according to recruiting firm Korn/Ferry International, will oversee the public relations and media placement firms under contract and manage an annual media budget in excess of $20 million: more than $3 million for “digital media programs” (like the “Clean Coal Carolers” and a “Blogger Brigade“) and greater than $17 million for “media placement.”

ACCCE’s planned digital efforts are part of a comprehensive, national public relations campaign. In 2008, ACCCE spent over $45 million on its messaging, including $10.5 million to lobby Congress. The PR firm Hawthorn Group has promoted its “grassroots campaign” for ACCCE involving “sending ‘clean coal’ branded teams to hundreds of presidential candidate events” and “giving away free t-shirts and hats emblazoned with our branding: Clean Coal.”

The Wonk Room received the job description when Korn/Ferry approached Center for American Progress Action Fund’s Associate Director for Online Advocacy, Alan Rosenblatt, about the job. “While some may work just for money,” Rosenblatt said, “progressives work for values. Which might explain why this headhunter was naive enough to recruit me despite the fact I work for an organization that opposes her client.”

Download the Korn/Ferry job description for ACCCE’s Vice President of Paid Digital Media here.

Center for Public Integrity: Corporate Interests Dominate Climate Change Lobbying 1

Posted by Wonk Room Thu, 26 Feb 2009 15:30:00 GMT

From the Wonk Room.

The Center for Public Integrity has found that “more than 770 companies and interest groups hired an estimated 2,340 lobbyists to influence federal policy on climate change in the past year,” estimating total expenditures of $90 million. Their comprehensive investigation of climate lobbying discovered that nearly 2,000 of the lobbyists represent corporate interests.

Climate Change Lobbyists
CPI found that the top climate lobbying shop was the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), a coal-industry front group that spent $10.5 million lobbying Congress:
No group exemplifies the sophistication of the current debate more than the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity — a new lobbying organization unveiled just weeks before the vote last June on the Warner-Lieberman bill. Representing 48 mining firms, coal-hauling railroads and coal-burning power companies, ACCCE spent $10.5 million lobbying Capitol Hill on climate in 2008 — more than any other organization solely dedicated to the issue. In addition to the group’s president, Steven Miller, a one-time aide to former Democratic Kentucky Gov. Brereton Jones, and vice president Joe Lucas, who was an aide to former Energy Secretary Hazel O’Leary, ACCCE has at least 15 outside lobbyists, including former White House Counsel Quinn. The big effort is not surprising, since electricity is the largest single source of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, and the most carbon-intensive fuel, coal, provides half the nation’s power. But ACCCE’s position is that it supports a mandatory federal program to curb the emissions its own members produce—as long as the policy meets ACCCE’s set of principles for keeping electricity affordable, domestically produced, and reliable. And that means encouraging, in ACCCE’s words, “robust utilization of coal.”

Check out the “The Climate Change Lobby” site, including a searchable database of lobbyists and a sampling of top players.

ACCCE Celebrates Senate's $4.6 Billion in Coal Funds in Recovery Plan

Posted by Wonk Room Sat, 14 Feb 2009 03:50:00 GMT

From the Wonk Room.

The coal-industry public relations group, American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), is celebrating the Senate’s insertion of billions of dollars of coal R&D funds in the recovery plan in an email to supporters. The Senate plan added $2.2 billion to the House’s allocation of $2.4 billion for the development of “carbon capture and sequestration technologies.” ACCCE heralded the ”$4.6 billion in clean coal technology funding” in the message, claiming the “funding is important because”:
  • It contributes to energy independence, allowing us to use coal that is right here in America
  • It stimulates the economy and could create almost 7 million job-years of employment and over $1 trillion in sales
  • It will help fight climate change and aid other environmental goals by promoting technologies to reduce carbon dioxide and major air pollutants
It is not the case that $4.6 billion for coal technology could “create almost 7 million job-years of employment and over $1 trillion in sales.” The “7 million job-years” figure comes from “Employment and Other Economic Benefits from Advanced Coal Electric Generation with Carbon Capture and Storage,” a BBC Research report commissioned by ACCCE. The report says that the construction of 100 gigawatts of advanced coal plants - about 200 plants over a fifteen-year span - would generate that much job activity. The construction expenditures for a single plant with CCS is estimated at “approximately $2.0 to $2.1 billion.” So the $4.6 billion in the Senate plan is enough for the construction of only two plants and about 6,000 construction and manufacturing jobs. Two hundred plants would cost a $393 billion. The ACCCE email “is a bit confused,” Doug Jeavons, the author of the BBC report tells the Wonk Room:
The nearly 7 million job-years estimate is associated with full scale development of about 100 gigawatts of advanced coal CCS capacity, not just the proposed $4.6 billion in the stimulus plan.
Furthermore, the technology to build such plants does not yet exist. As NV Energy announced when they indefinitely postponed the construction of a coal-fired plant in Ely, Nevada:
The company will not move forward with construction of the coal plant until the technologies that will capture and store greenhouse gasses are commercially feasible, which is not likely before the end of the next decade.

To make CCS technology commercially viable, the Center for American Progress recommends, there should be a federal greenhouse emissions performance standard put in place for new plants, and a cap-and-trade system to make polluters pay for their emissions.

ACCCE to Spend $2 Million at Democratic National Convention 1

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 22 Aug 2008 17:41:00 GMT

The Politico’s Jeanne Cummings reports that the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity is spending $2 million at the Democratic National Convention on billboards and street teams to promote the coal industry:
The Democrats are mighty proud of the “greening” of their convention. Recycling will be celebrated, as will bicycling and a whole host of other environmentally sound practices.

Amid the glow from all that global warming warfare enters the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. Yep, those fellows have got guts.

The coal coalition, a nemesis to many environmentalists, plans to spend $2 million on advertising in and around the Denver convention venues, promoting the virtues of clean coal.

It will also be doing “experiential advertising,” meaning the group will put people on the streets to actually talk to conventioneers about the role coal could play in future energy policy.

The street teams will also be handing out city maps with blurbs inserted about the importance of the coal-based electricity industry and ongoing research into capturing and storing carbon emissions from those plants.

“We started this conversation with policymakers and the American public in 2000,” said Joe Lucas, the coalition’s vice president of communications. “We’ve significantly turned up the volume on that conversation in the last year.”

And the coalition figured, what better place to go to continue that conversation than at the conventions?

In billboards and other ads, the coalition will argue that the coal-based electricity industry can help keep jobs at home, reduce costs for consumers and — with more research — find its own tidy spot in an environmentally cleaner energy future.

“Clean coal means the next president won’t have to choose between the economy and the environment,” concluded Lucas, adding that both Barack Obama and John McCain already see coal in the nation’s future energy industry.

This will be the coalition’s first appearance at the two political conventions. But Denver is clearly the group’s best shot at a breakthrough moment.

Oil and Coal Industries Spending Two Million Dollars a Day to Shape Political Debate

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 21 Aug 2008 11:44:00 GMT

A report from the Public Campaign Action Fund on 2008 spending by oil and coal industries finds that they are on track to spend about one billion dollars this year on lobbying, political contributions, and advertising. The full report amasses the following expenditures:

Amounts in millionsCoal/Electric Utilities Oil/Gas Total
Political Contributions $16.5 $20.9 $37.4
Lobbying Expenditures 73.7 55.3 129.0
Paid Media 7.4 201.2 208.6
Other Political Spending 40.0 12.2 52.2
Total $137.6 $289.6 $427.2

Lobbying expenditures and political contributions come from Center for Responsive Politics data compiled from public disclosures. Paid media figures are from TNS Media Intelligence, the industry standard for tracking media spending.

The “other political spending” comes from the coal industry group Americans for Balanced Energy Choices / American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ABEC/ACCCE) and from Newt Gingrich’s 527 corporation, American Solutions for Winning the Future (ASWF).