Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Communications War Over Clean Coal Part 2: The 30 Second Spots

To the best of my knowledge, the first “clean coal” ads were run by the group Here it is:

From an industry perspective, this is a decent spot. Groups like are usually funded by corporations that seek to expose the public to a specific business issue that politicians on either side of the aisle will take up in an election. What’s most important about this ad is that it looks clean, crisp and professional. It’s not as good as the American Chemistry ads, but the harder the topic the harder the tougher sell.

The key highlight to this ad is when it mentions the possibility of capturing CO2. Herein stands the crux of opposition to “clean coal.” Carbon dioxide capturing is very expensive. In fact, it might be the most expensive element in a “clean coal” plant. Plus, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse emissions cannot be captured everywhere. The gas is collected and sent into the ground in things like salt deposits. In addition, there is no guarantee that the gas will stay in the ground forever.

So, once again, if money were no object then yes you could build one of these plants and there would be less environmental impact than a current coal burning plant.

Now, as we all know, John McCain did not win the election. Enter the group, Like, the group has a flair for producing ads that catch the viewers’ attention; however, what separates this ad is the fact that it is an adequate introduction to a debate about “clean coal.”

Now, with the both groups poised to fight the war will take a new, interesting, and head scratching turn.

Part 3 Coming Soon…

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