Update: We sent the letter out, and you can download a PDF of the official, signed version here.
January 22, 2008
Immediately after President Obama's inauguration speech, you began running television ads that splice together quotes of the President's in a manner promoting "clean coal" but deliberately misrepresenting his energy campaign platform. Buying the very first ad run on CNN after the speech shows the weight of the $40 million dollars you have spent in the past year on prime advertising real estate.
The footage in your latest ad was apparently taken from President Obama's September 9th speech in Lebanon, VA. The ad shows him saying, "[C]lean coal technology is something that can make American energy independent." Then a screen with text flashes "Clean Coal - creating jobs" before another video clip from the same speech with the President's words: "And by the way, we can create five million new jobs, in clean energy technologies."
The ad thereby implies that President Obama intends to create five million jobs with "clean coal," which you know is false. The President’s New Energy For America plan outlines the creation of "five million new green jobs" with a broad swath of investments in energy efficiency, weatherizing homes, aggressive deployment of renewable energy and plug-in hybrid cars. Coal is the next to last thing on the list. Even in your wildest dreams, so called "clean coal" will never create millions of jobs.
In addition, your ad co-opted President Obama's signature inspirational campaign slogan, dubbing in a crowd chant of "Yes we can!" over what in real life was just a round of applause.
Greenpeace considers the myth of "clean coal" and Carbon Capture and Storage to be a dangerous distraction and false solution to the climate crisis. As prioritized by Energy Secretary Chu and the President's agenda, energy efficiency and renewable energy have stronger and more crucial role to play in America's energy future. However, regardless of differences of opinion on the role of coal in our nation’s energy future, false advertising and misinformation is unacceptable.
We call on you to withdraw this ad campaign and publicly redress these false representations of President Obama's environmental policy. Your misinformation campaign around clean coal continues to corrupt an informed debate in the quest for energy alternatives, environmental security, and real energy solutions.
Used to describe the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service.