05/04/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

GE Is on a Coal-Beautification Mission

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General Electric is "changing the perception of coal energy in America." It's clean -- and sexy. Just watch this TV ad. But wait there's more.

2010-03-04-coalmethanetesting300x196.jpg Checking methane levels at a coal mine in Pound, Virginia -- taken during an Enhanced Coal Workers' Health Surveillance Program (black lung screening) survey. (Source: CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health via Flickr)

Here's the problem: you've got lots of coal in the ground that you want to use to generate electricity and profits. But coal has a reputation for being dirty and causing tons of pollution. So what do you do?

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Tap that Ecomagination -- the sustainability initiative of GE, whose corporate motto is "imagination at work" -- and give coal a clean, sexy makeover. The message: today's coal is not dirty -- it's cleaner, even plain old clean. And coal dust? That's apparently the stuff that beautiful people love slathered all over their sweaty bodies. Stay with me.

Do your kids like video games? Well, there's an online game all about clean coal waiting for them here.

'Blueprint for a Better World'

GE print ad for 'clean' coal

Clean coal ad by GE.

What about nature scenes? Don't they make you feel invigorated? How
about the one above? Kind of makes me want to climb every mountain and
ford every stream 'til I find a barge full of coal.

'Harnessing the Power of Coal Is Looking More Beautiful Every Day'

But for the ultimate in the selling of clean coal to America, check out GE's television spot from 2005, the year the company brought Ecomagination to life.

Why pay outrageous fees for a sports club when you can hang out with scantily clad babes and studs as a coal miner?

I guess that's what John Denver must have been thinking when he sang about West Virginia and his mountain mama.

Why can I never find a pick ax and a hard hat when I need one?

For the Other Side of the Coal Issue

Just a few of many to choose from:

coal miner checking for black lung diesease

Coal miner in Colorado performing spirometry, testing for black lung disease. (Source: CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health via Flickr)