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The Republican National Committee Just Officially Declared That Coal Is “Clean”

Well, that was easy!

 

This story was originally published by Grist and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

The Republican platform committee met in Cleveland the week before the Republican National Convention to hammer out the party’s policies in a Trump era. Not to be outdone by Democrats, who approved the party’s strongest platform language yet on climate change this weekend, Republicans have gone as far as possible in the other direction—by endorsing coal as clean.

After a unanimous vote on Monday, the RNC’s draft platform officially declares coal “an abundant, clean, affordable, reliable domestic energy resource.”

David Barton, a delegate from Texas, proposed the single-word edit to the RNC’s already-glowing list of adjectives on coal in its platform draft. “I would insert the adjective ‘clean’ along with coal, particularly because the technology we have now,” was Barton’s reasoning. (You can watch a clip of the vote on C-SPAN).

For years the coal industry—and at one point, even President Barack Obama—promoted the idea of “clean coal,” that expensive and imperfect carbon-capture-and-storage technology could someday make coal less terrible. But there’s no way it is clean.

The RNC language just happens to reflect the same talking points favored by the lobby group American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, which on its website calls coal “an affordable, abundant and increasingly clean domestic energy resource that is vital to providing reliable low-cost electricity.”

The RNC copied most of that language correctly, give or take a few words.

 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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