PFPI, Allies Call Out Greenwashing During So-Called "Clean Energy Week"

(Washington, D.C.) A dozen environmental watchdog organizations wrote to Congress today warning that the so-called  “National Clean Energy Week” in Washington, D.C. this week packages polluting energy industries such as coal, gas, nuclear, biomass, and garbage incineration alongside clean renewable energy such as wind and solar.
 

 “The climate crisis is real, and these clean energy claims are phony,” said Dr. Mary Booth, director of the Partnership for Policy Integrity, a nonprofit that applies science to inform clean  energy policy. “We’re writing Congress to remind it that clean energy doesn’t come out of a smokestack.  Congress must keep its hands off Americans’ wallets when these super-polluters come asking for clean energy subsidies.”
 

The industry lobbyists sponsoring the week’s events include the American Gas Association, American Petroleum Institute, Biomass Power Association, Energy Recovery Institute (garbage incineration), and the Nuclear Energy Institute.
 

The watchdog groups contend that these highly polluting industries are trying to rebrand themselves as “clean energy” in order to secure federal tax breaks and subsidies – despite the carbon pollution, air pollution, and toxic wastes that they generate.
 

“At a time when we should be transitioning swiftly to truly clean forms of energy, some of the biggest polluters in the industry are in DC this week attempting to greenwash their operations,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch.
 

 “Waste burning facilities are the most toxic, expensive, and climate-polluting energy industries in the U.S.," said GAIA's US & Canada Regional Coordinator, Ahmina Maxey. "These facilities are predominantly sited and built in low-income communities and communities of color across the country, burdening these communities with mercury, dioxins, and particulate matter while undermining investments for local economic resilience and job creation."
 

“Nuclear power is dirty energy from start to finish, and despite massive amounts of government subsidies, it still can’t compete,” said Tim Judson, executive director of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service. “From mining uranium to making nuclear waste that still has no solution, it is simply too dirty, too dangerous, too expensive, and too slow to have any place in our country’s energy future.”
 

The letter to Congress was signed by:
 

350.org
Center for Biological Diversity
Dogwood Alliance
Environmental Integrity Project
Environmental Working Group
Food & Water Watch
Friends of the Earth U.S.
Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA)
New York Public Interest Research Group
Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS)
Oil Change International
Partnership for Policy Integrity (PFPI)

Download the letter here

#DirtyEnergyWeek Factsheets:

Biomass Energy | Garbage Incineration  | Nuclear Power | Climate Change
 

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September 25, 2017

Dear U.S. Senators and Representatives:

A coalition of energy industry lobbyists will descend on the Capitol this week to sell Congress on the idea that their technologies are clean and green. But the sponsors of “National Clean Energy Week” include some of the dirtiest actors in the energy industry. We’re writing to let you know we’re paying attention – and we hope you are too.
 

You can expect many of these so-called “clean energy” lobbyists to seek tax breaks and subsidies to bolster dangerous, expensive, and polluting technologies such as:
 

  • Biomass (burning wood and papermill wastes for energy), which is costly, dirty, and emits more CO2 than coal per megawatt hour
  • Carbon capture and storage, which is so energy intensive it requires burning more fuel just to run the equipment
  • Nuclear power, which generates thousands of tons of highly radioactive waste – yet we still don’t have a safe way to store it  
  • Garbage incinerators, aka “waste to energy,” which emit mercury, dioxins, and other hazardous air pollutants and generate millions of tons of toxic ash
  • Fracked gas, which contaminates groundwater, pollutes the air, and emits methane, a potent climate warming gas

Dirty energy lobbyists prefer to work in a “post-fact” environment, but greenhouse gases, air pollution, and toxic wastes from these technologies demonstrably impact our health, our environment, and our changing climate.
 

The climate crisis is real, and these clean energy claims are phony. We urge you to support investments in truly clean energy, like energy efficiency and solar, wind, and geothermal power. Taxpayer dollars should not support dangerous and dirty technologies masquerading as “clean energy.” 


Sincerely,

350.org
Center for Biological Diversity
Dogwood Alliance
Environmental Integrity Project
Environmental Working Group
Food and Water Watch
Friends of the Earth U.S.
Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA)
New York Public Interest Research Group
Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS)
Partnership for Policy Integrity (PFPI)
 

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