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Digging for the Truth: Groups Say Mining Ad is "Full of Lies"

PHOTO: Ads on radio stations across the country claim that federal air pollution rules would raise the price of electricity, but a former coal-state governor says that isn't true. Critics are asking radio stations not to run them. Photo courtesy Sierra Club.
PHOTO: Ads on radio stations across the country claim that federal air pollution rules would raise the price of electricity, but a former coal-state governor says that isn't true. Critics are asking radio stations not to run them. Photo courtesy Sierra Club.
May 29, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – An ad playing on the radio this week is being criticized as dishonest.

The National Mining Association is paying for the media campaign, which is running across the country.

The ads tell consumers they'll pay a lot more for their electricity if new federal standards to limit carbon pollution are put in place.

But former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland says that's simply not true.

"The ads are an extreme exaggeration and not based upon fact or hard data certainly, but just purely speculation coming from a special interest," he says.

Late last week, the Natural Resources Defense Council sent a letter to radio stations in several states, demanding they pull the ad because the claims made have been proven false by independent analysis.

The National Mining Association is spending $750,000 on the media campaign.

Nick Mullins is a fourth-generation coal miner, but he stresses it's time for the country to invest in alternative energy sources.

"By reducing demand using energy efficiency, we can lower electric rates and produce more jobs and provide a cleaner future for our children that doesn't include a lot of the health issues that they're currently having to face," he says.

Strickland, now president of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, says the ads ignore the advancements that would come by reducing carbon pollution at existing power plants and the positive impact on curtailing climate change.

"This is not unlike the kind of alarming information that has been put out in the past any time there has been an effort to require the polluters to accept some responsibility for their pollution," he says

The National Mining Association maintains the new standards will eliminate jobs.

But a former EPA administrator under President George W. Bush wrote that between 1970 and 2006, the nation's gross domestic product grew by 195 percent at the same time many environmental regulations were being put in place.


Dan Heyman, Public News Service - WV