Home for the Holidays

Posted by Joe Lucas at 2:17 pm, December 12, 2008

We had
fun this week with the Clean Coal Carolers and hope you enjoyed them. They did a nice job singing about how coal has become cleaner over the last few decades and about all the clean coal technology projects taking place across the country.

Now it's time for them to head home for the holidays.

Season’s greetings from America’s Power!

I invite you to take a look at our newest TV ad in which we tout our support for Barack
Obama’s call to invest in America’s energy future – including
investments in clean coal.

47 Responses to “Home for the Holidays”

  1. Maria Reidpath says:

    Why did you take the Coal Carolers down? My family and I thoroughly enjoyed them and wanted to continue doing so… I read that some group was complaining about them but why should we bow down to whiners?
    I say, bring them back!

  2. Joe Lucas says:

    We had fun with them — I’m glad you liked them too! We launched a new TV ad today and wanted to focus on that going forward.

  3. Adam Erickson says:

    That was the lamest campaign ever. You totally copied the elves from 2 christmases ago. Plus you are evil. Quit telling lies.
    also I know you will not post this because you are ashamed of the truth.

  4. Jenny K says:

    I would like to point out that Maria Reidpath works for the Department of Energy.
    It is totally unacceptable for DOE staff to comment on clean coal websites pretending to be random viewers with no investment in the issue.
    Hopefully in the new administration, the DOE will start to hire people who work towards real solutions for climate change, like wind and solar.

  5. Nick Kong says:

    Aww, I’m going to miss it. You guys should put it back up. After I found out about it, I passed it along to everyone I knew… it really made our day to know you guys are wasting money doing PR crap like this instead of actually investing in cleaner technology. Pathetic. Hope you enjoyed being featured on Maddow’s show.

  6. Adam:

    We publish just about every comment, so long as it’s void of vulgar language and is on topic. We’d appreciate it if your next comment followed those guidelines.


    We welcome comments from everyone, including those with opposing viewpoints. Maria is just as invested in America’s energy future as the rest of us.


    Thanks for your comment—we’re glad you enjoyed the Carolers!

  7. David says:

    Coal is a vital part of our energy solution and economy. It disheartens me to see so many people trying to down play its significance in our future.

  8. Ribbite Sobel says:

    Good thinking guys. As much as I am against “clean coal”, it’s good that you caught an incredibly bad campaign before it burned you further, no pun intended. Coal is dirty folks, period.

  9. “Clean Coal” = the destruction of mountains and loss of hundreds of thousands of acres of biodiverse forests, the burial and contamination of Appalachian streams, the damaging of property, the contamination of groundwater resources with toxic heavy metals, the impoundment (above towns and schools) of billions of gallons of toxic coal slurry, the imposition of black lung on miners, the death of miners, and the degradation and economic suppression of Appalachian economies.
    “Clean” coal is coal left where it it — buried in the ground.

  10. Al says:

    Adam: I don’t see the comparison between coal carolers and the elf yourself campaign. Seriously, at what point in the carolers thing did you upload a photo of yourself and dance? Seriously, get a clue. these were singing rocks talking about energy, which is vital to all of us, no matter where it comes from.

  11. Maximillian Smith says:

    Is coal sustainable?
    Why should my state of Montana export global warming to 15 other states when the majority of our state’s citizens would rather invest in and export energy that actually moves our economy forward?

  12. Vince says:

    Darn, took ‘em down before I had a chance to see just how bad they were. Our best coal-fired plant in the UK is 43% efficient (and therefore wastes 57% of the energy put in). Does the US have anything better? More than half the energy put in is wasted? Seriously, there has to be a better way. There’s no point even discussing clean coal because there is no such thing anywhere in the world.
    Thanks to Jenny for pointing out the partiality of the Dept of Energy lady’s comment. She’s hardly Joe the plumber, is she?

  13. greenmullet says:

    I will miss those little chunks of cheer. My kids thought they were great. Of course, I told them coal isn’t that great, ie., you get a chunk in your stocking if you’re bad.

  14. Ali says:

    I loved the Clean Coal carolers- where did they go? I sent out several. It was great to see you guys have some holiday spirit.

  15. Erik S.G. says:

    Thanks! I’m sorry you pulled it down, though, because my friends and I had a great time ridiculing your absolutely lame propaganda campaign. Although I give you props for actually using the “lumps of coal,” especially given their holiday connotation. Really spot on! Let’s give all of America “lumps ‘o coal” for the holidays, one of the most carbon intensive, harmful sources of energy we have! We can then all go frolic in the rising seas!

  16. trippin says:

    “Clean coal.”
    That’s like saying “honest Bush administration appointee.”
    “Coal is a vital part of our energy solution and economy.”
    Uh, yeah. Not as vital as a shill repeating propaganda like a lemming.

  17. william oreilly says:

    Why…cough cough did you cough cough…take down…haaacck…the “clean..ccouuugh spit puke…coal” carolers? I…bllluuuuch…think that coal will…spitoooey…”clean the atmosphere.
    Clean the atmosphere of all living things that is.

  18. Chomps says:

    You just got owned by Rachel Maddow (again), by the way.

  19. Annie says:

    Adam’s comment was void of vulgar language and on topic.
    Jenny was not saying that you should not publish Maria Reidpath’s comments, as you seemed to interpret her comment. She was criticizing Maria Reidpath for commenting because she is a DOE staff. That is Jenny’s opposing opinion, one that you should equally welcome, rather than respond to defensively as if it were directed towards you guys.
    But I’m glad to see that you guys are at least publishing these opposing opinions, and at least say lack of vulgarity and being topical are the only criteria.
    The truth, as the vast majority of respectable energy experts will say, is that there is no such thing as clean coal. Conventional coal power, which is the VAST majority of what is done now, is not clean, and carbon capture and storage technologically nowhere near being feasible; even if it were, there are still HUGE issues associated with mining, transport, etc.
    I’m curious to see if you will stick to your word and publish this. If so, props to you guys.
    I’m very glad you were pressured to take down the carolers.

  20. Alec Dickey says:

    For what it’s worth, I am very impressed that you have allowed so many negative comments to be posted here. Well done! I too, sent out the Carolers to all my friends, ridiculing what must be one of the most poorly concieved, kick-yourself-where-it-hurts public relations campaigns in the history of human communication. Really, it was awesomely, hilariously awful on so many levels! And taking it down before Christmas, astoundingly, makes you look even MORE clueless. Put it back and you’ll not only have ten zillion people see the message you wanted to give them in the first place but show you have more of a sense of humor than most people posting here.

  21. showhe says:

    Stop Mountain Top Removal!

  22. jim martin says:

    “Clean coal”
    is about as realistic as
    “liberal republican”
    “anencephalous genius”

  23. John Kraning says:

    I didn’t get here fast enough to see the “Clean Coal Carolers,” but hear that they were fantastic. It amazes me that there are so many folks out there that still advocate any energy at any cost without realizing that the cost of burning coal will be the lives of our children and grandchildren. What a horrible legacy to leave those we love.

  24. CleanCoalIsAnOxymoron says:

    Bummer that you took down the carolers — I didn’t see them yet.
    As Joe Romm and others have said, you couldn’t make this stuff up.

  25. Greg V says:

    For those who missed the original, you can see it at, among other places, http://thinkprogress.org/2008/12/10/clean-coal-carrolers/. There are some poignant comments and a few hilarious alternative lyrics, too.
    While I deplore virtually everything the “clean coal” powers do, I see no reason to not commit to the research necessary to find the renewable, non-polluting sources of energy that will meet people’s needs, and maybe even a few of their desires. I suspect coal would not be the winner, nor would nuclear.
    But we should go for the low hanging fruit first, and do that immediately. There is an alarming amount of waste in the ways in which we use energy, regardless of its source. Improving our efficiency is not only a “personal virtue” (according to Cheney – and why does he not want to be virtuous) it puts industries at an economic advantage. And it saves cash-strapped homeowners money.

  26. Chloe K says:

    It would be wonderful if we could stop pretending that we can turn the dirtest energy source available into a cleaner version of itself. It’s not going to happen, and we’re wasting time on perfecting and implementing ACTUAL clean energies like solar and wind.
    This cartoon is an amazingly brazen and fradulent attempt to turn uneducated consumers towards a dirty industry.
    Let’s get our “educational” entertainment from a more unbiased source, instead of watching “clean” coal toot it’s own dirty horn.

  27. Teri says:

    Clean Coal is a HOAX! IT does NOT EXIST! We Hope our technology will Invent Clean Coal. Even YOU Joe Lucas was quoted by Newsweek;
    “Joe Lucas, a vice president for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, says that …..the technology although it’s still in early development stages. With the current research being done, we think we can get the technology up and running within 10 to 15 years,”
    We Need CLEAN Technology Now Joe. We don’t have 10-15years to wait for the Invention of Clean Coal Technology! You are snowing the Public. Clean Coal Does Not exist! To say Clean Coal Exists would equate to the Multiple Sclerosis Assoc. saying they have a Cure for MS when in truth one may be any number of years or decades away! I will be contacting my Senators encouraging them to invest in Solar, Wind, and Geothermal.
    Coal is DIRTY AND A MAJOR CAUSE OF CO2 Emissions! Bye, Bye Fossil Fuels!!

  28. JC says:

    Coal is filthy, through and through.
    Lying is not funny.
    Good Kwanza to you all!

  29. Lee says:

    Why blame Rachel Maddow? she didn’t actually blast it. I thought it was kinda cute. It’s certainly not offensive, yes there is maybe one clean coal plan in the world. (near Germany I think) very tricky. But the Carolers were about as fun as Elf bowling. And Elf Bowling gets many offended but it’s just hilarious. Keeps setting off the antivirus, but thats because someone 8 years ago or so spoofed the name elfbowling.exe into a real virus. Which ironically is how I found the game :P

  30. Maria Reidpath says:

    Wow… I suppose I could have hidden behind a pseudonym. I didn’t realize I was so famous. I love to know that people took the time to “Google” me, perhaps? to find out where I work. There was no intention on my part to advertise my place of work just my believe that coal is part of the United States energy mix and a big one. Making sure it is used as cleanly as possible and having a little fun with carolers is just the icing on the cake. Besides belonging to my place of employment, I am a U.S. citizen, free to express my opinion and it is in this vein that I posted my comment. Not as an “ad” for anything at all. It was my first reaction at seeing the cute carolers gone… But over-reacters will be over-reacters…
    I didn’t read all the comments but I hate to dissapoint some people by telling them that, even if I was vanished from everywhere, clean coal’s progress will continue. It’s bigger than little ol’ me.

  31. wbn says:

    There is a lot of misinformation about coal being said. What many people don’t realize is there is two basic types of coal, bituminous or soft coal and anthracite or hard coal.
    I burn hard anthracite in my house and when the fire is going you cannot tell what I am using to heat with (no smoke, no smell. Not all coal is equal.
    Also, are you (the ones complaining about coal) willing to give up your electric lights, televisions, and computers? Because if all the coal burning power plants are shut down there would not be enough power to run them and, how about your plug in electric cars, you think the electricity just magically comes out of the outlet?

  32. Larry26969 says:

    You can fool some of the people some of the time, but how stupid do you really think the American people are? Your entire PR program to convince us that coal is clean by saying it is clean coal is just an attempt to find out. Cute little “black face” christmas coal faces helped to wake up more of us. If coal was really clean, you would not need a PR program.

  33. Tim Peterson says:

    Oh come off it. You pulled the embarrassing carolers in response to public outcry. We all know “clean coal” is a lie – but who would have thought the coal industry was on the front lines of the “war on Christmas” with your sacrilegious re-write of “Silent Night.” Absolutely shameful, totally troubling and humiliating for your PR hacks. I hope somebody got fired!
    For those who havent seen the offensive videos, they can be found here:

  34. Randy Sadler says:

    I enjoyed the Coal Carolers. I thought they were funny “Frosty the Coalman”. I read some of the other posted comments and must say stop using coal fired electricity if it is so bad. Unplug your cell phone, laptop, big screen tv, your refrigerator, etc. right now then you will be unable to post stupid comments.

  35. Spencer says:

    Wow! You people all seem to really hate coal. Just out of curiosity; how many of you use solar energy in your homes?
    Before the accusations fly – I have no affiliation with the government or the coal industry. I enjoy the environment, but, like all of you, I am unwilling to read by candlelight. Merry Christmas.

  36. Stephanie says:

    If you are against pursuing coal technologies that aim to produce zero emissions and put solid waste to beneficial use, how do you propose we continue to meet U.S. energy demand? Wind and solar currently meet less than 2% of that demand. Nuclear around 5%. NG is needed for the production of chemicals and other products, oil for transportation. As a WV resident, I fiercely oppose mountaintop removal, its destruction of our land and waterways, and the danger it poses to those living near its mines and below its slurry reservoirs. However, a balanced view of today’s energy scenario requires us to keep coal in the mix until other more environmentally sensical resources can match it in terms of quanity and cost. I propose that we continue to pursue clean coal technologies until those resources are found.

  37. interesting says:

    True, coal is awful for the environment, but it’s abundant, cheap, and as long as you’re leaving the lights on you’re a part of the problem too. Can’t stop mining coal until there’s a better energy source with the technology to supply America unfortunatley.

  38. Zack Brown says:

    Thanks for posting so many negative viewpoints. Here’s another one: “Clean Coal” is like “Safe Cigarette.” Don’t be like the car companies and live in the past. Please invest in wind and solar technology or we’ll be bailing you guys out in 15 years.

  39. David says:

    Sorry treehuggers. Clean coal technology does indeed exist. It puzzles me that you “save the world liberals” do not realize the damage to the economic infrastructure and loss of jobs a world w/o coal would cause. I am all for a clean environment, but,reckless,radical change is not the answer. Coal is our most abundant source of energy. It is not going anywhere any time soon.

  40. Sheila Thompson says:

    Will you please post all the lyrics to the Clean Coal Carolers’ songs?
    I work in the coal industry and find them very enjoyable!
    Looking forward to reading all the lyrics!
    Thank you!

  41. jeff Williams says:

    The carolers were wonderful. I passed it on to everyone I know. I played them all about a dozen times at the office (of the world’s largest RTO) and would love to play them again.
    Thanks and Merry Christmas.
    Jeff Williams

  42. Jonathan Edwards says:

    Too bad you took down the Coal Carolers, I heard about them on the NPR show, Wait…wait…Don’t Tell Me. I disagree with those who see this as crass, ill-conceived or poorly thought out marketing. This was/could have been the viral marketing success of the year and the only poor decision was to pull them before most people had a chance to view the spots. If you do put them back, let all of us know.

  43. Climateboy says:

    Thankfully, the nonsense lives forever on YouTube:

  44. Thanks for all your comments. While I can’t respond to each one individually, I will say that people who rebuke clean coal technologies never seem to provide evidence that one single fact that is inaccurate. I respect that we’re all entitled to opinions, but opinions won’t keep the lights on! We’re all for a debate — but it needs to be about the facts.

    Here are the facts as we see them:

    • We rely on coal today (about half of our electricity is produced by coal). Is there any debate on that subject?
    • We’re going to need to rely on coal for the foreseeable future, both here in the U.S. and around the world. Does anyone else have any non-partisan forecast that shows that not to be the case?
    • Generating electricity from coal is less expensive than other energy alternatives. Does anyone doubt the U.S. Department of Energy data backing that up?
    • To date, the use of technology has made it possible to produce more electricity from coal to meet our country’s growing energy demand with fewer emissions of pollutants regulated by federal and state clean air laws. (This does not include greenhouse gases, but we’ll get to that in a second.)
    • Finally, we believe that by continuing to invest in technology, we can reduce emissions even further, including the capture and safe storage of CO2.

    With our growing energy demand, we’re going to have to call on all of our domestic energy sources. Whether or not you enjoyed the Carolers, we hope they’ve been a good reminder that coal is a big part of our energy mix.

  45. Sarah K. says:

    The one thing I haven’t seen from the creators of the Clean Coal Carolers is some explanation of why sacred songs (Silent Night and Adeste Fideles) were spoofed along with secular holiday songs for this project.
    At any point, did anyone on your team think it might be in poor taste to replace lyrics like “Glory to God in the highest” and “Son of God, Love’s pure Light” with pro-coal propaganda?
    What’s next? Mohammed at Ramadan touting the benefits of coal-powered electricity so you can get up before dawn for Suhoor?

  46. Coal is Good? says:

    Barring some technological breakthrough – “clean coal” really makes no economic or environmental sense. The lumpen carolers were tasteless and crude but my hope is that, with the dawn of the new year, people will wake up to the real solutions: renewable, sustainable, fuel-free energy and conservation. Let’s think up some songs about a coal-free future.

  47. Coal is Good?: Just to make things clear, we are all for renewable energy solutions. However, we understand that because of rising energy demand, coal will be part of our nation’s energy mix for many years to come. We support the work that researchers, scientists and engineers are putting toward developing the technologies that make energy generation from coal cleaner and more efficient — and you should, too.