The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity might, er, not want to consider a holiday gift for its new green neighbors. (Photo illustration by The Washington Post; original images from

The Natural Resources Defense Council--the greeny environmental group-- had been ensconced on the third floor of the building for a few months when a new tenant arrived. The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity had moved into a suite only a floor above the green group’s space.

Uh-oh. To put it mildly, the NRDC and Clean Coal don’t exactly see eye to eye on most issues. Since the move-in, we hear there have been some awkward elevator rides and plenty of joking about keeping one’s friends close and enemies closer.

Both organizations are keeping a sense of humor about the strange-bedfellow situation.

“It gives a new meaning to the EPA’s good-neighbor air pollution rules,” says Ed Chen, the federal communications director for the NRDC. (Rules on which, natch, the groups disagree.)

The coal folks are hoping that the proximity might breed some comity.

“Our hope is we’ll be closer than a floor away from agreeing on clean coal as part of our energy future,” spokeswoman Lisa Miller tells us.

And you thought the family’s seating chart at Christmas dinner was a recipe for uncomfortable conversations...