The Washington Post introduced a new web page about politics called PostPolitics.com, and the site's exclusive sponsor is the coal industry's shady front group, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE). ACCCE is the group whose lobbying firm, Bonner and Associates, was caught forging letters to Representative Tom Periello (D-Virginia) in July, 2009, which urged Rep. Periello to oppose the Waxman-Markey Climate bill. The letters were supposedly from groups like the NAACP or Creciendo Juntas -- on what appeared to be their stationery. ACCCE admitted that Bonner had been working on its behalf as a contractor to another PR firm, The Hawthorn Group. Hawthorn's Senior Partner, Suzanne Hammelman, in late 2008 sent out a report to "friends and family" boasting that Hawthorn's astroturf activities succeeded in manipulating presidential candidates to support "clean coal" in the run-up to the 2008 election. Hammelman wrote, "President-elect Obama and Senator McCain, their running mates and their surrogates adopted our [clean coal] language and included it as part of their stump speeches." Dan Becker, director of the Sierra Club's Global Warming and Energy Program, argues that the term "clean coal" is misleading: "There is no such thing as 'clean coal' and there never will be. It's an oxymoron." Despite ACCCE's shady track record, and the misleading nature of supposed "clean coal" technology, Post National Editor Kevin Merida says of the paper's new page, "What we bring to the often muddled political landscape is a clarity that is unmatched and an authority you can trust."
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