As the CEO of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, Stephen Miller is a politically influential face of the coal industry. Miller is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and the UK School of Law.
Miller has been involved in politics, government and social policy for 30 years. He co-founded the Center for Energy and Economic Development (CEED) and was named President and CEO in 1994. Miller also helped lead the creation of Americans for Balanced Energy Choices (ABEC). These organizations, which consolidated into ACCCE in 2008, are coal industry astroturfing groups meant to convince lawmakers and lay people that clean coal is a viable and environmentally sound energy option. To accomplish this mission, ACCCE spends millions on advertising, public relations and political lobbying to promote the coal industry’s claims of climate-related solutions. This money comes directly from the country's major coal-generated utilities, coal producers, and railroads.
Our strategy in dealing with mercury has been two-fold: prevent states from taking precipitous or unwarranted action to regulate mercury and engage in the federal rulemaking to protect the interests of coal-based electricity.
-Leaked CEED strategy letter to Peabody CEO, June 18, 2004
"Indeed, many scientists maintain that [greenhouse gas] emissions from electric power plants are not contributing significantly to overall warming trends."
-The Nation, April 13, 2009
“We know there has never been an environmental challenge to using coal to generate electricity for which technology has not provided the ultimate answer. Climate change will not be an exception to that rule.”
“Climate Policy” video, ACCCE media room
Before becoming ACCCE, the Center for Energy and Economic Development (CEED) worked with the Western Fuels Association (a coal utility coalition) and Greening Earth Society (a publicity front group) to adamantly deny that carbon dioxide is an atmospheric pollutant, lobbying against the Kyoto Protocol. The Western Fuels Association, then led by current Peabody CEO Fred Palmer, and the Greening Earth Society are known for non-scientific claims of supposed environmental benefits of carbon dioxide emissions. Additionally, Greening Earth Society’s “scientific advisors” have ties to ExxonMobil through their institutions.
ACCCE spent over $12 million from 2008-2010 on lobbying, almost $10 million of which was spent in 2008 alone.
In the 2008 election year, ACCCE spent $40 million on television and radio advertising, profoundly influencing the political attention that coal received. At the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, ACCCE spent $1.7 million on advertising and outreach. Additionally, direct lobbying from Miller effectively reversed a statement from Joe Biden suggesting the Obama/Biden platform would not be supportive of “clean coal” during the 2008 election season.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
A leaked 2004 letter from Miller (then with CEED) to former Peabody CEO Irl F. Engelhardt reveals CEED’s efforts to prevent greenhouse gas regulation on national, regional and state levels, stall EPA regulation of carbon dioxide through the Clean Air Act, and weaken standards for haze and mercury pollution control. Concerning mercury regulation, Miller wrote:
“Our strategy in dealing with mercury has been two-fold: prevent states from taking precipitous or unwarranted action to regulate mercury and engage in the federal rulemaking to protect the interests of coal-based electricity.”
In August 2009, Select Committee on Global Warming Chairman Ed Markey (D-Mass.) investigated forged letters sent by an ACCCE contractor to three House lawmakers. Miller admitted to the existence of the forgeries and released a statement on Aug. 3, 2009, which read, in part:
“Because of Bonner and Associates’ misconduct, we apologize to the community groups and the Members of Congress involved. There is no place for this type of deception. We applaud efforts to ensure that everyone involved in the public policy dialogue lives up to the highest ethical standards.”
While testifying under oath about the forged letters before Congress, Miller falsely claimed that his organization had only participated in direct federal lobbying since 2008.
On September 6, 2010, Miller wrote a response letter to the editor of the New York Times, expressing opposition to EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases.