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Coen Brothers Play Hardball With Clean Coal Coalition

February 27, 2009

Coen Brothers Lend Voices to “Clean Coal” Debate With Controversial TV Spot

By Janine Theriault

HOLLYWOOD, CA(RushPRnews/Hollywood Today/) 02/27/09 - Academy Award Winning directors Joel and Ethan Coen have become the most recent participants in the on-going war of words concerning so-called clean coal, lending their talents and repute to the media debate with a TV spot which aired Thursday. (Watch the spot at the bottom of this page.)

The brothers, who won three Oscars in 2007 for “No Country for Old Men” and one in 1996 for writing ”Fargo”, have directed a searingly satirical TV spot for the Reality Coalition, a group whose yellow canary add campaigns have been gaining recognition since their “This is Reality” campaign began last year.

The add, entitled “Air Freshener”, features a modern take on a 50’s-esk suburbia, directing aim at the use of the word “clean” itself in relation to coal. States the aid’s air freshener salesman, “ ‘Clean Coal’ harnesses the awesome power of the word ‘clean’”. The add ends with the Reality Coalition’s tag line, “In reality, there’s no such thing as clean coal.”

As the Obama administration’s call for clean, homegrown energy sources have heated up the multi-million dollar debate as to the future of domestic energy production, the nation’s coal industry has gone on the offensive. The resulting trade group, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, has spent $18 million so far on television spots in an effort to create a cleaner image for this notoriously dirty energy source.
Earth Cinema Circle
The problem with the coal industry’s throwing it’s financial weight around, according to environmentalists and many scientists, is the false impression Americans now have that “Clean Coal” technologies already exist. In fact, the much-touted clean technologies have yet to be developed, and are unlikely to be cost effective for coal companies, according to Bruce Nilles, national coal campaign director for the Sierra Club.
Signs of the times: Even good ol' oil billionaire T Boone Pickens is talking alternative energy sources such as natural gas and wind, spending generous amount of his own money promoting an end to foreign oil dependency.

Enter into the fray, the Reality Coalition and the Coen Brothers. Coalition spokesman Brian Hardwick says the celebrated brothers were taken with the group’s biting proposed script for the TV spot.

"They thought it was their style," he said.

Said the Coens in a statement, "We were excited to be part of this important project and tell another side of the 'clean' coal story."

The spot can be seen on CNN, MSNBC, and Comedy Central, and can also be viewed at www.thisisreality.org and on YouTube.com.


photo credit Rita Molnar

You may write Janine at JanineT@rushprnews.com for story ideas and news tips.

About the author: Janine Theriault is a reporter for RushPRnews and Hollywood Today. She covers the entertainment, arts and Culture beat, and is available for freelance assignments. Write her at JanineT@rushprnews.com
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