Coen Brothers Tell Companies to Stop Touting “Clean Coal”

Suzanne Byrne by Suzanne Byrne | February 27th, 2009 | 1 Comment
topic: Celebrity Planet, Green Living, Green Tech

The new commercial from the Coen brothers.

The new commercial from the Coen brothers.

Academy Award-winning directors Joel and Ethan Coen are always up for a challenge — after all, they’ve worked with notorious prankster George Clooney on three different movies! — but this time they’re taking on the coal industry.

The filmmaking duo have directed a new TV spot for an environmental coalition that’s trying to demolish the notion that there’s anything clean about so-called “clean coal.”

The commercial, which debuted yesterday (watch it here), shows an ad man who sprays a can of “clean coal” air freshener and sends a family into coughing fits. It ends with a tag line: “In reality, there’s no such thing as clean coal.”

The Coen brothers held a conference call to talk about their ad and released a statement saying, “We were excited to be part of this important project and tell another side of the ‘clean’ coal story.”

Obviously this isn’t sitting well with coal companies. Half of our nation’s power is supplied by 600 coal-burning plants. The industry has formed a trade group known as the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, which has already spent a whopping $18 million on TV spots touting the efforts being made to clean up this industry. Despite this push, many scientists say that weaning the world off coal is critical to to slowing the effects of climate change.

Me, I don’t argue with scientists.

But whose side are you on in the debate? And what do you think of the ad?

Share your comments below.


  1. I think we should move away from coal for many reasons the biggest being what it does to those working with it. I’ve lived in Appalachia and have seen first hand the effects it has on people working in those mines. It’s sad.

    Go solar!

    Nancy | February 27th, 2009 | Comment Permalink

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