GE's vision of Coal Miners Daughters – too hot to handle

Image representing GE as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

Since we’ve talked about peak oil and nuclear energy today, we may as well add coal to the daily roster. This showed up as a link on my Facebook page from Lawrence Depenbush. I at first thought it was a parody, because well, swimsuit models and coal mining? C’mon. Sadly though, yes this is a General Electric “Eco-imagination” commercial.

This bizarre commercial was originally aired in mid-2005, though I never saw it until today. The message of a 250 year supply of coal is lost in the imagery. What next, coal porn?

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August 9, 2011 11:33 am

St. Peter don’t ya call me cuz I can’t go
to the government store.

Ian H
August 9, 2011 11:56 am

That’s one coal mine I wouldn’t mind working at.

August 9, 2011 12:11 pm

Pure GE-nius

August 9, 2011 12:13 pm

That would be the company store, but these days the gaffe is probably more appropo.

David L. Hagen
August 9, 2011 12:13 pm

For the reality of the cheapest clean(er) coal, see: e Future of Cheap Energy: Underground Coal Gasification (UCG)
“FuelCell” posts UCG syngas for < $2/GJ, and $27/bbl for syncrude. Note AFC Energy’s alkaline fuel cell for 50%-60% efficiency with capital costs <$500/kW.

Don Horne
August 9, 2011 12:17 pm

What a difference a few years make. Now they only want to kill eagles Don Quixote style. And pay no taxes on 5B$ profit. Nice to be boosom buddies with Teh Won, doncha know?

Crispin in Waterloo
August 9, 2011 12:18 pm

I take it GE is indeed leaving most of this to our imaginations. No masks? Ever heard of Black Lung Disease?

David Walton
August 9, 2011 12:18 pm

Maybe GE’s intent was to attract men to coal mining.

August 9, 2011 12:25 pm

Maybe it’s a recruitment video?

August 9, 2011 12:25 pm

I have a few Gay friends who would also find this pretty appealing.

August 9, 2011 12:29 pm

Saint Peter don’t call me cause I don’t want to leave my bikini clad co-workers!!!

August 9, 2011 12:31 pm

If more women who looked like that, actually worked in coal mines, I suspect there would be a lot more men signing up to work there as well.

August 9, 2011 12:40 pm

Well, a girls gotta.. get through the night (shift) somehow..

August 9, 2011 12:40 pm
Douglas DC
August 9, 2011 12:42 pm

As one who has family (My wife too) in that line of work this is an insult. GE can kiss my grits….

Third Party
August 9, 2011 12:42 pm

Drill, Baby, Drill!

August 9, 2011 1:04 pm

I like this ad.
And regarding coal porn… I don’t see anything unusual in this ad, every other one uses sexy girls too. So after porn becomes common in ads (times are changing and what we see in ads today was unimaginable just a few years ago…) then we may get some coal porn ad too.

August 9, 2011 1:21 pm

They don’t allow gals that hot down in coal mines–the probability of a mine explosion is just too high.

August 9, 2011 1:36 pm

Sigh. Poor ol’ Tennessee is probably at high RPM right now…

David Davidovics
August 9, 2011 1:44 pm

For what its worth, I like Bo Diddley’s versoin of “sixteen tons” better.

August 9, 2011 1:45 pm

The Zoolander version is funnier:

August 9, 2011 1:54 pm

Can I be a coal miner too? Pretty please?

John S
August 9, 2011 2:48 pm

I think I just increased my carbon footprint…

Gary Hladik
August 9, 2011 3:44 pm

I think I’m in love…talk dirty to me…
Do septic tank cleaners next!

August 9, 2011 4:10 pm

My grandfather owned and operated a coal breaker, a plant where coal is crushed, sized, graded, and delivered. My other grandfather was also in the coal business and subsequently died of “black lung.” Although I never worked in the mines or breakers, I’ve been inside the mines and around coal breakers quite a bit in my younger years. I never saw anything so inspiring as what was presented in this commercial. I’m not talking about the coal. Now if I had seen anything close to what was depicted in the commercial I would have probably carried on the family tradition of coal mining. But I didn’t so I didn’t.

Bruce Cobb
August 9, 2011 4:35 pm

I wondered what they meant by “emissions-reducing technology”, suspecting it had something to do with C02. It doesn’t:
The ad is a bit silly, not unlike a lot of ads. You wonder sometimes when you think of the money spent – “that was the best they could come up with?” GE, you brought a dumb thing to light this time.

Dave Springer
August 9, 2011 4:38 pm

They got a ways to go to get into the major leagues (beer commercials) but it’s a good start. You could almost do a conversion just by adding an icechest full of bud light to the scene and one of the girls saying “Here we go”. Eurozone commercials are far more risque of course.

August 9, 2011 6:08 pm

This may surprise everyone, but it is difficult to get a job as a coal miner. The pay is pretty good and the benefits are really good. And yes, there are women workers at mines.

Jay Davis
August 9, 2011 6:49 pm

The sad thing is, what could have been done with all those billions wasted on the CO2 and global warming hoax? Money that could have gone into research to burn our abundant coal more cleanly and efficiently, instead is going into projects like holes in the ground into which to pump CO2. Money that could have been used to upgrade older coal burning generators, instead is going to windmills that don’t work. What’s worse, we currently have an administration that is actively trying to kill the coal industry and put coal burning generators off-line.

Philip Bradley
August 9, 2011 8:02 pm

The 250 year supply of coal is commercially recoverable at current prices using current technology.
In reality, there is far more coal than that.

Kevin Kilty
August 9, 2011 8:40 pm

That was a Benetton ad. Move on.

Theo Goodwin
August 9, 2011 8:40 pm

Did GE actually have something to do with this travesty? If so, GE established its elite creds. It put itself in the same category as Al Gore, John Kerry, and all the elites who have not one clue about the people who actually work in mines and similar activities. Here is the first verse and the refrain from Merle Travis’ version (1946) ( of his legendary song, “Dark as a Dungeon,” that has been recorded by just about everyone:
Come and listen you fellows, so young and so fine,
And seek not your fortune in the dark, dreary mines.
It will form as a habit and seep in your soul,
‘Till the stream of your blood is as black as the coal.
CHORUS: It’s dark as a dungeon and damp as the dew,
Where danger is double and pleasures are few,
Where the rain never falls and the sun never shines
It’s dark as a dungeon way down in the mine.
Try to find a recorded version by Travis on the internet. Then you will fully grasp the third line of the first verse.
My mother can sing this song acapella and she sounds just like Travis.
As for GE: assholes.

August 9, 2011 9:18 pm

Emissions friendly coal makes as much sense as models working in a mine.

August 9, 2011 9:30 pm

Climate warriors and heroes
Jeff Immelt
As the CEO of General Electric, Jeff Immelt is interested in global warming for only one reason: the bottom line. “Rest assured, I am not tackling climate concerns because it’s moral or trendy or good for P.R.,” he says. “The biggest driver for me is business potential: It will accelerate economic growth.” In May, Immelt announced that G.E. is doubling its annual R&D spending on clean technology to $1.5 billion — developing a dizzying array of wind turbines, hybrid-engine trains, state-of-the-art jet engines, zero-emission coal plants and superefficient home appliances. In return, the 49-year-old chairman expects to double revenues from those same inventions, taking in $20 billion a year by 2010. “Immelt is the tipping point,” says Joel Makower of Clean Edge, a leading green-business consulting firm. “Where he goes on climate, industry will follow.”
If the Caps Fits
(Kimberly Strassel, The Wall Street Journal, January 26, 2007
There’s nothing capitalist about lobbying for a program that foists its debilitating costs on taxpayers and consumers while redistributing the wealth to a few corporate players.
GE CEO explains practical realities to free marketeers
What put him over the top was Terry Anderson of the Property and Environment Research Center, a right-wing think tank. Anderson asked what real entrepreneurs — the ones who don’t have the resources to lobby for favorable treatment from government — are supposed to do when a carbon cap cripples the economy.
Real entrepreneurs. That set Immelt off. “We compete our asses off,” he snapped. “We’re No. 1 at what we do!”
At points, Immelt seemed keen to let his antagonists know that he was one of them. “We read all the same books!” he said plaintively to Strassel. “I’m not an environmentalist,” he insisted later. At the end of one exchange, he protested, “I’ve never voted for a Democrat!” adding with a mutter, “until tonight, maybe ..
GE Energy acquired the assets of Chevron’s (then Chevron Texaco) gasification technology business in June 2004. More than 65 commercial gasification facilities using the technology are in operation or advanced development stages, but this marks its first application in a CTL process.

August 9, 2011 10:14 pm

I think Tui does better gorgeous girl ads … there is at least a sense of humour about it rather than porn

Mac the Knife
August 9, 2011 10:14 pm

Pure empty hype and bullshit marketing…..
There wasn’t one person in that ad that had ever done a really hard days work in their life. If any of them had run a jack hammer or grunted a shovel for more than an hour, their lotioned hands would have been chewed into blisters. The toughest thing they ever handled was an over temp latte.

August 9, 2011 11:53 pm

GE was once one of the biggest coal miners in the world via their Utah International coal division. Utah was sold to BHP for a bargain basement price in1985

Steven Hoffer
August 10, 2011 12:38 am

While it’s unrealistic in a serious way, keep in mind that for today’s average pampered, underskilled, lazy, bureaucratic, service industry oriented loser……
that looks about as tough as it gets. for those of us who know what industry is really like, its one part joke, two parts safety infraction, and four parts pitiful.
Its a real pity that the average person these days doesn’t know the pride, accomplishment, and honour that comes from a difficult, or dangerous job done well and done safely. The average person doesn’t step back at the end of the day and see the whole of their work. Average Joe doesn’t point to a building and say “I did the wiring for that building” or “I helped finish the Ironwork there.” Average Joe doesn’t build cars, fix cars, run powerstations, mine coal, fix trains, lay pipe, put up buildings, make furniture, paint, drywall, pour concrete, build boilers, mine for gold, grow food, raise cattle, fish, drill for oil, truck goods, defend their country, operate machinery, chop down trees, have new ideas, build computers, or EVEN GO CAMPING IN A TENT.
These days, it seems to me that Average Joe spends most of his time pushing paper from one office box to another, and worrying that he may not be up to date with his friends on the latest reality tv. In my books, Average Joe is to be pitied… And for myself, if you give me the choice between living every day trapped in a tiny box, or maybe being crushed under a rail car….. For myself, I’ve already chosen.

August 10, 2011 6:13 am

Mac the Knife says: August 9, 2011 at 10:14 pm
Pure empty hype and bullshit marketing…..
There wasn’t one person in that ad that had ever done a really hard days work in their life. If any of them had run a jack hammer or grunted a shovel for more than an hour, their lotioned hands would have been chewed into blisters. The toughest thing they ever handled was an over temp latte.

Crikey Mac, those girls (and fellas) were hot. And as Jesse says, plenty of gals work in the mining industry.
And if GE ever uses their windfarms for powering the maternity ward then they will be in trouble. As long as coal still provides electricity for the hard work done on those wards Mac the Knife and the years afterwards that ad should do.
As with Margaret there with her ad (Margaret says: August 9, 2011 at 10:14 pm)
as we say in Oz ‘go suck on that boys’.
Anglo American ‘Get the Full Story’ has done a fantastic job advertising the mining industry and associated economic and community benefits. And Cynthia Carroll CEO had no problem flying into Australia and letting Ms Gillard (MP) know the futility of and the ensuing damage should the carbon tax be realised. I don’t recall any of the CEO fellas having the gumption to tell the truth on either of those accounts!

August 10, 2011 6:32 am

TRASHING a motel room is so 20th century. These days the bad boys of rock ‘n’ roll poke society in the eye through the politically incorrect practice of emitting carbon, or at least that’s what Cold Chisel songwriter Don Walker seemed to be saying as the band announced a reunion tour of Australia and New Zealand yesterday. Walker, generally a quiet man who was a rocket scientist before music claimed him, said he wanted to make it clear the tour would be “carbon positive”. “We’re flying everywhere and we’ll be emitting as much as we possibly can,” he said to much applause. Appropriately, the impending Chisel tour is called Light the Nitro, a reference to the practice of injecting nitrous oxide into a car’s carburettor to increase its performance, not to mention its carbon emissions.
Iam Moss (Cold Chisel)
Remember when dry land agriculture and then GM crops were sooo bad. And women…….
So sad, too bad boys.

Mac the Knife
August 10, 2011 8:34 am

Jessie says:
August 10, 2011 at 6:13 am
“Crikey Mac, those girls (and fellas) were hot.”
Didn’t say they weren’t, Jesse. I can’t speak for the ‘fellas’ but I’m a serious fan and observer of the female form. However, my calloused hands and aching joints object to presenting posed 20 year old oiled gymnasium bodies as a representation of the physically hard, filthy, and dangerous job of shaft mining. None of those pretty little boys and girls would last a day down shaft (“Where’s the Starbucks stand?” “Ooooohh, I broke a nail….”). It’s analogous to posing hot house orchids in a weed tangled fence row and advertising them as wild roses. It is pathetic.

August 10, 2011 9:25 am

Philip Bradley says:
August 9, 2011 at 8:02 pm
The 250 year supply of coal is commercially recoverable at current prices using current technology.
You probably need to inform USGS of your revolutionary findings.
If seems they think there is lot less coal recoverable at current prices using current technology then some might believe. The 160 billion tons of coal in the Powder RIver Basin ends up being 10 billion tons when the ‘current prices using current technology’ constraint is applied.

August 10, 2011 11:50 am

No wonder GE is so tight with the White House and other politicians!
I wonder what the public reaction would be if the Army started making recruiting videos like this?

August 10, 2011 6:06 pm

The GE-Obama affair, and Jeff Immelt’s harsh words
Finally, there’s the philosophical similarities. Days after Obama promised in his inauguration to “remak[e] America,” Immelt wrote to shareholders:
The interaction between government and business will change forever. In a reset economy, the government will be a regulator; and also an industry policy champion, a financier, and a key partner.
At that Ex-Im confernce (Ex-Im is a government agency dedicated to subsidizing U.S. exports), Immelt declared “Germany is the model” economically because they believe in “government and business working as a pack.” Immelt also showed some China envy, I reported at the time:

August 10, 2011 6:09 pm

The Unholy Marriage Of GE And President Obama At The Altar Of Industrial Policy
The angry Left has been calling for President Obama to fire Jeffrey Immelt from his position as head of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. I think that would be a good idea, but for different reasons.

Jim Owen
August 10, 2011 7:19 pm

My grandfather spent 45 years in working as a coal miner. His sons (my uncles) spent 10 to 15 years as coal miners. They never saw that kind of miner – and they never saw a miner who was that clean 5 minutes after the cage left the top.
Pure bullfeathers.

August 11, 2011 4:55 am

Mac the Knife says: August 10, 2011 at 8:34 am
Note to publishers of workplace calendars – tone them down for 2012. 😉

David S
August 11, 2011 6:16 am

New TV series: Sex in the Coal Mine ??

Henry chance
August 11, 2011 10:15 am

The former Enron wind became GE Wind
GE is all about money from the gubment. If we shutter coal fired electric generation, GE can sell a new set of windmills and new turbines for Natyural gas driven generation.

August 12, 2011 2:29 am

Jim Owen says: August 10, 2011 at 7:19 pm
My grandfather spent 45 years in working as a coal miner. His sons (my uncles) spent 10 to 15 years as coal miners. They never saw that kind of miner – and they never saw a miner who was that clean 5 minutes after the cage left the top.
My great grandmother spent 60 years raising 15 babies. Her daughters, (and sons) those that survived, spent 10 to 15 years …………………….
My daughter (s) ……………………

Laurie Bowen
August 13, 2011 10:43 am

Neo says:
August 9, 2011 at 12:11 pm
Pure GE-nius
Neo, I bet they will use it one day! Very Clever!

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