ACCCE Forges Claim of Vet Groups Support for Coal

It is hard to beat the US Chamber's tin ear when it comes to climate change, but I have to hand it to ACCCE - they have managed, once again, to put themselves at the head of the "blundering boob brigade."

Today, ACCCE sent out an email implying that Votevets and Operation Free support ACCCE's coal-driven agenda.


With Veterans Day around the corner, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on all the military personnel who are involved in ensuring our country is protected.

Energy security is one issue that has become increasingly important to our veterans. In fact, national veterans groups Votevets and Operation Free are urging the government to become more energy independent and less reliant on foreign oil.

We can do this by using the abundant domestic fuels we already have. With more than 250 billion tons of recoverable coal reserves, the United States has more coal than the Middle East has oil.

What a gross insult. Votevets and Operation Free support strong climate legislation and renewable energy. They are not pro-coal. For goodness sake, the first message Operation Free's website delivers is "Secure America with Renewable Energy."

But in case ACCCE didn't bother looking more closely at their websites, there was a major story in Politico today entitled "Veterans join front lines of climate fight" which featured VoteVets discussing its work to support a clean energy and climate bill.  

And ACCCE sent out this message "with Veterans Day just around the corner." So where does ACCCE stand on a climate bill? Well, Duke Energy and other companies left it earlier this year due to its opposition to legislation, saying

"we believe ACCCE is constrained by influential member companies who will not support passing climate change legislation in 2009 or 2010."

This makes ACCCE a repeat offender when it comes to using the names of veteran groups. Back in September of this year, I blogged that

the Washington Post reported that the American Legion Post of Rocky Mount VA had been unwittingly used as a shill in the continuing con game unraveling around Bonner and Associates, a Washington DC PR firm hired by a contractor to ACCCE.

Yes, that's right. One of the victims of the ACCCE-sponsored fraudulent letter scandal was an American Legion Post in Virginia.

It is a shame - but not necessarily surprising - that ACCCE managed to recognize Veteran's Day by dishonoring veterans.

UPDATE: Operation Free just posted a note about this as well, entitled "ACCCE dishonors Veterans Day," saying "In a move that should offend every American, they're using Veterans' day to promote their agenda  - an agenda that threatens to put more brave men and women into harm's way in the future . . . The Veterans of Operation Free know that climate change - not just our dependence on foreign energy - is making the world a more dangerous place. In today's environment, resources and weather play a significant role in security. Unstable states quickly become failed states in the face of drought, famine and the resultant civil unrest caused by climate change.  One need look no further than Afghanistan or Somalia to see the dramatic impact that climate issues like water shortages, famines, and crop failures have on security issues."

UPDATE: For more on Operation Free and its efforts to advocate for clean energy and climate legislation, see my colleague Rocky Kistner's blog about their recent tour across America to tell Congress to get moving by supporting clean, American Power. Rocky's post includes terrific video interviews with Operation Free vets.

UPDATE: VoteVets just posted a reaction to ACCCE's email as well, saying "VoteVets and Operation FREE are not, have not and will never advocate the continued use of carbon based fuels. Such an action would be completely counter to the work we do, as so called "clean  coal" only pushes us closer to inevitable catastrophic climate change and threatens our national security. For the ACCCE to hijack America's Veterans who are working to ensure secure, clean American energy alternatives while simultaneously claiming to honor us on Veterans Day is an act of despicable hubris."