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The Great Coal Debate aka How Lobbyists Pollute Politics

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Message Jeanine Molloff

Jeanine Molloff

The Huffington Post

The Great Coal Debate: How Lobbyists Pollute Our Politics

Bruce Nilles, Sierra Club's Beyond Coal "consigliere' is passionate about saving our planet and saving our democracy. More resembling a graduate student than an experienced advocate; he exudes the calm intensity of a tired parent dealing with a stubborn child. Not only does he want to rid the planet of coal pollution; he wants to end this culture of "polluting politics.' Condemning the corporate practice of hiring recent legislators as lobbyists; he decries the ""army of lobbyists that are subverting our democracy."

(The Great Coal Debate, Washington University, 04/27/10)

Fred Palmer, senior Vice-President in charge of "governmental relations' for Peabody Coal is passionate about winning. He is also on record as being an early "climate change denier,' spending 20 years running the Greening Earth Society, an organization pushing the theory that fossil fuel pollution increases biological growth and prosperity. Appearing grandfatherly yet quirky in an expensive suit and black scuffed cowboy boots; he has been quoted on record claiming that ""every time you turn your car on and you burn fossil fuels and you put CO2 into the air, you're doing the work of the Lord." (http://www.polluterwatch.ocm/2010/01/polluterwatch-exclusive-the-many-faces-of-fred-palmer)

Both men faced off April 27th at WashingtonUniversity in St. Louis in what was dubbed THE GREAT COAL DEBATE. Moderated by Time magazine correspondent Brian Walsh; the subtitle could have aptly been"is the cheap energy worth the cost?

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Working as an urban educator for over 25 years--I 'moonlight' as a writer. I write part-time for The Huffington Post and enjoy the task of curmudgeon,(at least where career politicians are concerned). I consider myself a political independent (more...)

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