Kevin Grandia's blog

Coal is Not the Answer to Energy Poverty and Here’s Why

Worldwide, the coal industry is suffering as the demand for its product weakens in the face of a surge in clean, renewable energy options and a world that can no longer afford to continue to consume this dirty fossil fuel.

To deal with this decline in revenue, some coal companies like Peabody Energy are spending millions on advertising, public relations and lobbyists to convince politicians that coal is the answer to the issue of energy poverty in developing nations in Africa, Asia and other parts of the world.

Peabody Energy 'Experts' Sow Doubt About Reality of Climate Change

According to publicly available court records, US coal company Peabody Energy recently submitted expert testimony to the Minnesota Public Utilities commission arguing that, CO2 is not harmful and is actually good for the planet” and that “there is no empirical scientific evidence for significant climate effects of rising CO2 levels, and there is no convincing evidence that anthropogenic global warming (AGW) will produce catastrophic climate changes.”

These statements and many more were included in “expert” presentations made to the Minnesota Public Utilities commission in June of this year by Roy Spencer and Roger Bezdek, who were both testifying on behalf of Peabody Energy.

The hearings were conducted by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission which is investigating the environmental and socioeconomic costs of carbon and greenhouse gases.

Roger Bezdek, an economist and president of a consulting firm called Management Information Services, Inc, offered testimony on behalf of Peabody Energy on June 1, 2015.

Peabody Energy to White House: Greenhouse Gas a 'Non-Existent Harm'

In an official submission to the White House earlier this year, U.S. coal giant Peabody Energy claims that greenhouse gas is a “non-existent harm” and a “benign gas that is essential to all life.”

The March 2015 submission from Peabody further claims that “while the benefits of carbon dioxide are proven, the alleged risks of climate change are contrary to observed data, are based on admitted speculation, and lack adequate scientific basis.”

A Bad Week For Coal Mining Industry, Even Worse for Peabody Energy

It's been a really bad week for major U.S. coal companies as we head into the July 4th holiday weekend. 

St. Louis-based Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU) closed today at $1.87 a share, down from a high of $84 per share in mid-2008. The company's chief financial officer Michael C. Crews resigned abruptly on June 28 amidst the freefall.

Another major U.S. coal company, Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE: ANR) hit a new all-time low yesterday at just 27 cents per share, and sank as low as 24 cents that morning.

Arch Coal (NYSE: ACI) also hit its all-time low of 33 cents per share as well, down from its all-time high of $73.42 in 2008.

All three companies' 
stock values are down roughly 80% from the beginning of 2015.

Chicken Little Meet the Friends of Science

Canada's leading climate conspiracy theorists, the Friends of Science, are out this week with a critique on climate change that would make even Chicken Little blush. 

In a press release issued Thursday, the Friends of Science state that if plans proceed to move our country away from carbon-intensive fuel sources like oil and coal, “Canada would have to be completely shut down in order to reach the emissions reduction targets, leaving millions of Canadians unemployed.”

The Friends of Science are no stranger to hyperbole, which is on full-display on the homepage of their website promoting all sorts of pseudo-scientific climate science conspiracy claims.

The FOS is also no stranger to controversy.

Breaking! Climate Deniers 'Friends of Science' Say Solutions Uneconomical

Pardon my sarcasm in the title, but I am still getting over the shock that the Alberta-based climate science attack group Friends of Science still think they are relevant.

Last week, the much discredited group issued a report attempting to throw a damp towel on Canada's tepid commitment to dealing with climate change.

Those who have followed DeSmogBlog from the beginning will remember Tim Ball, Tom Harris and the rest of the Friends of Science, a group once caught out for taking money from oil companies and trying to hide it through a convoluted series of back channels involving the Calgary Foundation and Prime Minister's Stephen Harper's fishing buddy Dr. Barry Cooper.


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