Coal Industry Sponsored Last Night’s CNN/YouTube GOP Presidential Debate

This post, written by Amanda Terkel, originally appeared on Think Progress

Last night at 8 pm EST, CNN aired a Republican presidential debate, live from St. Petersburg, FL. A full-page advertisement in yesterday's Washington Post states that the debate is being sponsored by the "clean coal" industry:

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(click for larger version)

View the full page ad HERE.

Sponsorship of last night's debate appears aimed at influencing Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R), who is leading a "crusade against coal." Crist has unveiled a plan to reduce his state's carbon dioxide emissions by replacing coal plants with solar thermal power plants. He has also canceled plans to build new coal plants that were pushed by his predecessor, Jeb Bush.

In early October, when Tampa Electric shelved plans to build a $2-billion power plant, Crist applauded the move:
"I am not a fan of coal," he reiterated. He pointed to the expansion of nuclear power, as well as recently announced solar and biomass projects, as examples of clean, reliable, affordable energy.
"There's a lot of different ways to skin the cat and still provide the energy that Floridians need and deserve without harming Florida in the process," Crist said.

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