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On election day, King Coal celebrates public relations ‘landslide’

Originally posted at the Wonk Room. ----- The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), the coal industry's propaganda front group, is upbeat about this election day, as indicated by their press release today. ACCCE VP Joe Lucas claimed: If "support for the use of coal for generating electricity" were on the ballot today, it would win by a landslide. His choice of words is unfortunate, as landslides are only one of the many deadly hazards of coal mining, especially under the lax safety enforcement of the Bush administration. ACCCE is celebrating a poll that showed their $50 million propaganda …

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Ethanol industry struggling

Big Ethanol, once all the rage, is tanking under the triple threat of inconsistent corn costs, the shaky economy, and falling prices for the product. Plans for new plants have been put on hold, and several companies have filed for bankruptcy; many analysts say significant consolidation is in the cards.

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The European wind industry continues its march to dominance

The European energy market has been driven for years by restrictions on CO2 and taxpayer support for renewable energy. As a result, Europe boasts many of the biggest, strongest wind companies in the world. In the U.S., we largely leave the energy market up to the vagaries of rising and falling oil prices. As a result, our wind power industry is fragmented and underfunded -- and now that oil prices are back down, on the ropes. As a result, the big European companies are getting set to buy up lots of smaller American companies to further cement their dominance. Then, …

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Ford rehires truck manufacturers

News from the They Just Don't Learn Department: Ford will rehire 1,000 workers to build its F-150 pickup truck, expecting boosted consumer demand in the face of falling gas prices.

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Feds deny GM request for merger bucks

General Motors' request for up to $10 billion to aid its potential merger with Chrysler was spurned by the Treasury Department, say sources; instead, the Bush administration will try to speed along implementation of a $25 billion loan to Big Auto to encourage R&D of fuel-efficient vehicles.

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Will a new administration give us the ‘safest food supply in the world’?

How many times have we been told we have the safest food supply in the world? Do we really? I suppose it depends on the comparison. Somalia? Kenya ? Eritrea? In developing countries, close to two million children die every year from contaminated food and water. These countries don't have much of a food supply, safe or otherwise, so compared to them, we do quite well. How do we fare compared to other industrialized countries? The Centers for Disease Control and Preventions estimates that there are 76 million cases of foodborne illness yearly in the U.S. -- roughly 1 out …

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Green jobs are breathing life into Midwest states’ economies

Renewable energy has become a crucial source of good jobs for laid-off manufacturing workers in Rust Belt states, reports The New York Times.

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Economic woes lead to slower growth for organic market

The decade-long boom in sales of organic products in the U.S. may be coming to an end, thanks to the economic slowdown. The market is still growing, but at about 4 percent annually, not the 20 percent seen in recent years. It means hard times for Whole Foods and good times for McDonald's.

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Gross

In the wake of record-breaking profits, Exxon continues its fight to pay as little as possible to those scarred by its Exxon-Valdez oil spill.

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Ethanol industry craters; investors take a bath; world probably fails to learn lesson

VeraSun, one of nation's largest ethanol producers, mulls bankruptcy. Ethanex Energy files. Alternative Energy Sources shuts down. E3 Biofuels files. A trend? Seems so: It was an American dream that has failed to become a reality. For much of the last decade, enthusiasts from President George W. Bush down have touted corn-based ethanol as something approaching a superfuel, a home-grown alternative to foreign oil that would help cut smog and bring hope to struggling farmers. It has not worked out that way. Instead, the ethanol industry has undergone a great boom and bust in which a Financial Times analysis has …