Coal Front Group Feels the Heat

Americans for Balanced Energy Choices (ABEC) -- a coal and power industry front group -- is busy organizing opposition to America's Climate Security Act of 2007 proposed by Senators Joe Lieberman and John Warner. The Institute for Southern Studies (ISS) reports that Pete MacDowell, an activist with the NC (North Carolina) Waste Awareness and Reduction Network, received a phone call from ABEC asking if he would put his name to a fax to Lieberman and Warner opposing the bill. Asked whether ABEC was an environmental group, the caller said "yes" and denied it had any links to power utilities. In response to ISS's revelation, Steve Gates from ABEC's parent group, American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, stated that "one new staff member -- who is no longer working on this project -- decided to 'wing it' when asked some questions that were off her script. This staff person clearly should have answered 'Yes' when asked if ABEC was related to the utility industry."