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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.

Catholic Climate Science Denier Calvin Beisner Touts Expertise, Says He 'Read Over 50 Books'

Calvin Beisner, the founder of the Cornwall Alliance and one of the main people behind the attack on Pope Francis's anticipated climate and sustainability-focused encyclical, states in a recent video that he is an authority on the issued of climate change because he has “read some 50 books… on the science of climate change.”

The video was taken at a press conference held last month in Rome that was organized by the Heartland Institute, an organization that has accepted millions from fossil fuel companies and dark money interests over the years to attack the science of climate change and any efforts to deal with the issue. 

Who's Behind the Attack on the Pope's Climate Encyclical?

Pope Francis

It is an open secret now that Pope Francis will deliver a papal encyclical on June 18 focusing heavily on the issue of energy consumption, climate change and “the unprecedented destruction of the ecosystem.”  

And of course with any major public event on climate change, the same small and very vocal group of climate change science deniers and conspiracy theorists are trying to distort the message, and (of all things) discredit Pope Francis and his concern about climate change.

For those who regulalry read DeSmog and follow climate issues, this attack on the credibility of the Pope is not surprising, as it is the same people, rehashing the same tired talking points on behalf of the same organizations we have been outing for close to a decade for their lack of credentials in climate science and connections to fossil fuel companies looking to delay action on climate change. 

Peabody Energy's Insincere 'Energy Poverty' Campaign Takes Major Hit

Two stories out late last week in the Guardian will seriously test the resolve of Peabody Energy's “Advanced Energy for Life” campaign.

The first Guardian article's title says it all: “Exclusive - Energy giant exploited Ebola crisis for corporate gain, say health experts.”


Is Obama Shipping Away His Commitment to Climate Change?

While President Obama has emerged as a strong leader on climate change, serious questions have been raised about his government's rush to ship coal overseas. 

Peabody CEO Greg Boyce's Long History of Climate Denial

When it comes to climate denier coal executives, there is none more outspoken than Peabody Energy CEO Greg Boyce, who recently reiterated his belief that climate change is, “an environmental crisis predicted by flawed computer models.”

Boyce made the “flawed” comment in the roll-out of Peabody's “five point plan” — which is more a grumpy rejoinder to a world keen on replacing coal with renewable energy, than an actual plan.