No. 3: American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity

Meet the 12 loudest members of the chorus claiming that global warming is a joke and that CO2 emissions are actually good for you.

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In April 2008, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity emerged to support “public policies that advance environmental improvement, economic prosperity, and energy security.” In other words, supporting policies that encourage Americans to burn more coal or—as ACCCE always puts it—”clean coal.” It’s also pushing cute coal: During the 2008 holiday season, it posted a video featuring adorable lumps of coal belting out carols like “Frosty the Coal Man” (left). (“Frosty the Coal Man is getting cleaner every day / He’s affordable and adorable and helps workers keep their pay.”) Its spokesman has said that mountaintop-removal coal mining could solve Appalachia’s “lack of flat space.”

ACCCE is best known for its ties to Bonner & Associates, the lobbying firm that got caught sending forged letters to Democratic members of Congress this summer. The letters, putatively written on behalf of military veterans and local chapters of civil rights groups, opposed the Waxman-Markey energy bill. In late October, congressional investigators found that ACCCE knew that Bonner was sending out phony letters on its behalf, but waited to tip off lawmakers until after they’d voted on the bill.

Bonner’s not ACCCE’s only ethically challenged associate. In August, ACCCE hired the Lincoln Strategy Group to pack town hall meetings with volunteers from America’s Power Army, an organizing group that claims 225,000 warm bodies at its disposal. Lincoln Strategies, previously known as Sproul & Associates, has been investigated for destroying Democratic voter registration forms in Oregon and Nevada in 2004, banned from Tennessee Wal-Marts for partisan voter registration efforts, and accused of organizing a misleading petition drive to gut Arizona’s clean elections law.

Hauled before Congress last month to explain ACCCE’s behavior, CEO Steve Miller claimed that his group had never opposed Waxman-Markey. That absurd claim led a Democratic congressional spokesman to say he wouldn’t rule out referring the matter to the Justice Department for a perjury investigation.

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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