Friday, June 19, 2009

House GOP Circulates Anti-Climate Bill Document Written By Coal Company CEO


ThinkProgress has more.


Wow, you know it’s bad when you’re so deeply in bed with the country’s largest coal company that you forget to take the CEO’s name off of a PowerPoint presentation you’re circulating:
House Republicans are circulating a PowerPoint document that purports to show the regional breakdown of costs for energy consumers under the Waxman-Markey climate and energy bill. The header: “Most States Lose Under the Pending Climate Bill.”

The catch? It appears to have been authored by the coal giant Peabody Energy.


A line at the bottom of the document reads, “Based on Energy Information Administration (EIA) and Congressional Budget Office (CBO) data”—but there’s no indication of the particular studies used. (The CBO numbers likely come from a report that the CBO itself says is not about Waxman-Markey and almost certainly overstates costs, since it only quantified costs, not benefits.)

Dig a little deeper by looking at the “properties” of the PowerPoint document and you learn that it was produced by Peabody Energy—with CEO Greg Boyce listed as the “author” and communications services manager Chris Taylor listed as the “manager.” Yes, the world’s biggest coal producer is literally writing Republican talking points. Oops!

Oh, oops indeed.

Meanwhile, the Democrats aren’t getting off scott-free, either. My e-mail in-box has been flooded with calls to remove a “Trojan Horse” inserted in the climate bill:

Unfortunately, members of the House who answer to the worst polluters have succeeded in including a Trojan Horse at the heart of the legislation - a prohibition on Obama's EPA being able to use the Clean Air Act to take additional action on CO2.

This little known, almost secret provision actually guarantees that the United States will fall short of doing what the scientists tell us must happen - a reduction of 80% of CO2 emissions from their 1990 level.

The coal and oil lobbies are spending every last ounce of energy and creativity to hold onto their old business model, instead of working towards a clean future. Isn’t that the same short-sighted thinking that kept GM making gas-guzzling SUV’s for the American market while manufacturing fuel efficient cars for overseas buyers? They kept saying Americans wouldn’t buy the cars Europeans were buying. Once again: Ooops.

And I don’t get these global warming deniers who refuse to believe that climate change is caused by human activity. That’s asinine but fine, if you want to believe that, go ahead. That still doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stop polluting our air, blowing up Appalachian mountains, dumping billions of gallons of toxic coal ash sludge on rural communities, and giving our children increasing levels of asthma and the like when there’s a cleaner alternative. The excuse that “those green companies are just trying to make money” is pretty stupid, too: I thought making money was the engine that drove our economy?