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September 10, 2009

Alstom Power Joins Exodus from Scandal-Plagued American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity
    by Robert Kropp

One week after Duke Energy left the trade group, French-based Alstom Power does the same, citing the group's opposition to climate change legislation as its reason. -- One week after Duke Energy left the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), citing as its reason the resistance of Coalition members to the proposed climate change legislation now before the US Senate for consideration, Alstom Power, a French manufacturer of parts for power plants, has left the trade group as well.

Both companies are members of the United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), an organization of businesses and environmental groups that has called on the US federal government to "quickly enact strong national legislation to require significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions." Duke Energy and Alstom Power have both announced their support for the Waxman-Markey legislation that passed the US House in June.

Last month, the ACCCE found itself involved in a scandal, when it was learned that a lobbying firm it had hired had sent 13 forged letters, purporting to be from the NAACP and several community-based organizations, to three members of the House of Representatives in advance of the June 26 House vote on Waxman-Markey. According to a background document issued by the ACCCE, the lobbying firm, Bonner & Associates, notified it of the forged letters on June 24.

However, as an August 5 lette r to the ACCCE from Representative Edward Markey of Massachusetts, the Chairman of the House Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, pointed out, the ACCCE "did not take any action to make the affected Congressional offices or the public aware of the situation until some time after ACCCE had known of Bonner & Associates' actions." Press reports indicate that the ACCCE did not notify the affected Congressional offices until August 3.

Both Duke Energy and Alstom Power stated that the scandal involving the forged letters was not a factor in their decisions to leave the trade group.

The exits from the ACCCE of Duke Energy and Alstom Power, which collaborates with US-based companies on power-plant projects, leaves the trade group with just two US-based members: GE and Caterpillar.

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