04/04/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Coal Industry Front Group CEO Refuses to Say Whether Burning Coal Causes Global Warming (VIDEO)

This morning, CNN ran a piece featuring Bruce Nilles, Director of Sierra Club's Move Beyond Coal Campaign, discussing the fabulous new Reality Coalition (of which Sierra Club is also a part) anti-"clean coal" ad. The new ad, directed by the Academy Award-winning Coen Brothers, has generated a lot of buzz.

But the most interesting part of the segment is an interview with Joe Lucas, head of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (nee Americans for Balanced Energy Choices), a coal industry front group that has spent tens of millions of dollars on deceptive advertising and political activities, as well as more than $10.5 million to lobby Congress directly on behalf of dirty coal and against legislation to fight global warming and promote clean, renewable electricity .

While the group's deceptive advertising claims that the unproven technology of so-called "clean coal" can be part of the solution to global warming, Lucas stunningly refuses to admit in the CNN interview whether or not the burning of coal even contributes to global warming.

NARRATOR: Still, the industry refuses to say its plants contribute to global warming.

INTERVIEWER: Can you just answer that yes or no--If you believe that burning coal causes global warming?

JOE LUCAS (shaking head no): I don't know. I am not a scientist.

Watch it (approximately 2:00 minutes in):

How can an industry that refuses to even acknowledge that it's part of the problem be part of the solution?

Here's the full Coen Brothers ad featured in the CNN piece: