2009 forged letters from coal industry to Congress

This document contains a compilation of several 2009 letters opposing the House climate change bill that were forged by, or on behalf of, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. The letters were part of a fraudulent correspondence scheme, led by the coal industry advocacy group, in which the industry’s lobbying arm pretended to be representatives from at least nine different non-profit organizations. The letters urged members of Congress to oppose the Waxman-Markey bill, which was intended to establish an emissions trading plan within the U.S. energy sector. Coal representatives, parading as representatives from a variety of social non-profits such as NAACP, claim in the letters that the bill will hurt their low-income or minority members, who would be unable to afford their electric bills if the legislation was passed.

The letters were a clear attempt by the coal industry to hinder environmental regulation in a fraudulent way. It appears from the letters that the coal industry was also participating in a misinformation grassroots campaign, similar to the oil industry. The letters themselves urge House representatives to enact “pro-consumer” protections in the bill, but in reality, the letters seek to create a pro-coal bill that won’t increase costs within the coal industry.

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