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“The Technological Shell Game” examines the industry’s persistent use of the “clean coal” trope to resist environmental regulation. The chapter interprets “clean coal” as a case of strategic ambiguity in which the industry invokes different definitions of “clean coal” to play a “technological shell game” with audiences, offering the promise of clean coal while hiding what exactly is meant by clean coal. This rhetorical strategy can unite disparate audiences in support of “clean coal,” but it obfuscates the coal industry’s resistance to regulation by appearing to work voluntarily and proactively toward technological solutions to environmental problems. The shell game enables the industry to finesse contradictions between its neoliberal calls for smaller government and deregulation, and its demand that the federal government subsidize carbon capture and sequestration technologies.
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- The Technological Shell Game
Peter K. Bsumek
- Palgrave Macmillan UK
- Chapter 4