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Archive for September 3rd, 2015

Big Coal Sinking Fast, Taking Paid Deniers With It

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 3, 2015

Courtesy of the Intercept by way of the Guardian, we find out that Big Coal is in a death spiral, and – to the surprise of no one who’s been paying attention – a longtime and heavy funder of various climate-change-denial actions:

We have known for years that privately funded organizations have attacked climate scientists, both in the US and the UK, to the extent that they had to set up a legal defence fund. But we’ve known little about where their money comes from, beyond efforts to connect the dots between different groups.

Now, the bankruptcy filings of Alpha Natural Resources, a large Virginia-based coal company, provide a rare window into the list of political and advocacy organizations the company has funded. E&E Legal (formerly known as the American Tradition Institute) is one of them. Other recipients include the Heartland Institute, which compared climate scientists to the Unabomber, the American Legislative Exchange Council and numerous others.

If Big Coal had invested in, say, large-scale cleantech battery research all the money it had invested into doing things like buying the North Carolina legislature, the businesses that comprise it could have smoothly transitioned away from coal. But of course the bosses don’t care what happens to their workers as the bosses have set up their own golden parachutes, with no doubt further gilding achieved by raiding the workers’ pension funds.

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