Peabody Energy

Exclusive: Climate Science Denial Group Heartland Institute is "Reaching Out" to Fossil Fuel Industry for Funding

Fred Palmer

One of the world’s most notorious climate science denial groups is “reaching out to the fossil fuel community” to raise cash in the wake of President Donald Trump’s election.

Coal industry veteran and new Heartland Institute senior fellow Fred Palmer believes the election of Donald Trump will transform the energy industry in the United States by leaving the science of climate change behind.

And in a wide-ranging interview with DeSmog, Palmer claimed there was nothing wrong with fossil fuel companies secretly funding groups that push climate science denial.

I am reaching out to the fossil fuel community right now and raising money for Heartland,” he said.  “Of course that’s acceptable.”

“God Bless Trump”: 25 Years Ago This Man Kick Started the First Fossil Fuel–Funded Campaigns to Attack Climate Science

Fred Palmer

In July 1988, on page 11 of Sports Illustrated magazine, one story caught the eye of Fred Palmer.

Under the headline “The Foul, Hot Summer,” the article lamented that year’s scorching heat and drought.

We have only ourselves to blame for this midsummer's nightmare. Burning fossil fuels has created many of these environmental ills,” the story read.

Palmer was worried. As the boss of Western Fuels Association (WFA), a co-op of coal power generators and haulers, this self-confessed “prairie populist” could see the writing on the wall for his industry.

Fred Palmer

Fred Palmer

Credentials

  • Palmer earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1966 and Juris Doctorate with honors in 1969 from the University of Arizona. [1]

Background

That Awkward Moment When Donald Trump's EPA Aide Christopher Horner Didn't Want to Talk About His Coal Funding

Chris Horner

There are two things that have happened only once in my 20 years of interviewing people as a journalist and while neither were traumatic, they were both odd.

Only once has someone turned and fled to avoid answering my questions.

Only once have I ever resorted to just shouting questions at someone when a polite conversation would have made life much easier.

What makes these two moments memorable, though, was that they both happened on the same night in Paris, and they both involved the same person — Christopher Horner.

Ken Bone, Internet Sensation from Presidential Debate, Works for Coal Company Opposed to Climate Regulations

Screenshot of Ken Bone from presidential debate.

After Kenneth Bone asked a question about energy to presidential nominees Donald Trump and Secretary Hillary Clinton at the presidential town hall debate on October 9, he quickly became a viral internet sensation.

That evening at Washington University in St. Louis, Bone asked, “What step will your energy policy take to meet our energy needs while at the same time remaining environmentally friendly and minimizing job loss for fossil power plant workers?”

Trump responded by touting “clean coal” and bashing what he described as President Barack Obama's war on energy. Sec. Clinton responded by promoting hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) for oil and gas as a “bridge” to renewable fuels while also citing climate change as a “serious problem” and that she wants “to make sure we don't leave people behind.”

Lost in the shuffle of the viral memesinternet jokes, and a Facebook fan page is a basic question: Who is Ken Bone and what does he do for a living? 

Australia Appoints “Mr Coal” As New Climate Change Minister

Australia’s new climate change minister is an MP once dubbed “Mr Coal” who believes the climate polluting fossil fuel is the secret to lifting the world's poorest countries out of poverty.

Re-elected conservative Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has put Liberal Party MP Josh Frydenberg, the former resources minister, in charge of the country’s climate policy.

Frydenberg replaces MP Greg Hunt who, as environment and climate change minister, was responsible for approving the largest coal mine in Australian history — the giant Adani Carmichael mine in the country’s Galilee Basin.

Senators Launch Resolution, Speech Blitz Calling Out #WebOfDenial Blocking Climate Action

On Monday and Tuesday this week, at least 19 U.S. Senators who understand the need to clear the PR pollution that continues to block overdue climate policy action will speak out on the Senate floor in support of the Senate Web of Denial Resolution calling out the destructive forces of fossil fuel industry-funded climate denial.

Championed by Senators Whitehouse, Markey, Schatz, Boxer, Merkley, Warren, Sanders, and Franken, the resolution condemns what they are calling the #WebOfDenial — “interconnected groups – funded by the Koch brothers, major fossil fuel companies like ExxonMobil and Peabody Coal, identity-scrubbing groups like Donors Trust and Donors Capital, and their allies – developed and executed a massive campaign to deceive the public about climate change to halt climate action and protect their bottom lines.”

Joined in the House of Representatives by Congressman Ted Lieu (D- CA), these champions for climate action and accountability in the Senate are calling out the use of think tanks and denier-for-hire front groups to create doubt about climate science. Read the resolution [PDF].

Bankrupt Coal Miner Peabody Energy Paid Climate Denialist Craig Idso To Write Greenhouse Gas Reports

A research center that has produced scores of reports dismissing the dangers of human-caused climate change was being paid by coal company Peabody Energy to produce reports about its greenhouse gas emissions.

The Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change (CSCDGC) is revealed as having historical financial ties to Peabody in the coal company’s bankruptcy papers.

A DeSmog investigation has also uncovered undisclosed financial links between the center, run by veteran climate science denialist Craig Idso, and another contrarian group, the Science and Public Policy Institute.

Peabody Energy was revealed as a funder of a web of groups and organisations that have worked to spread doubt over human-caused climate change while fighting rules to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Dr Idso, the chairman and founder of CSCDGC, has written many reports claiming that extra carbon dioxide is a benefit to the planet, while ignoring or downplaying the many negatives.

Broken Records Define The Climate Crisis

We’re living in a time of records. More renewable energy came on stream in 2015 than ever — 147 gigawatts, equal to Africa’s entire generating capacity — and investment in the sector broke records worldwide. Costs for producing solar and wind power have hit record lows. Portugal obtained all its electricity from renewable sources for four straight days in May — the longest achieved by any country — and Germany was able to meet 90 per cent of its electricity needs with renewable power for a brief period. Clean energy employment and job growth now outpace the fossil fuel industry by a wide margin.

That’s just a portion of the good news. Oil prices have fallen so low that some more damaging activities are becoming unprofitable, a record number of coal companies are going bankrupt or filing for bankruptcy, and fewer coal mines are operating in the U.S.

Canadian Climate Denial Group, Friends of Science, Named as Creditor in Coal Giant's Bankruptcy Files

By Charles Mandel for the National Observer.

A Canadian climate change denial group has popped up in a U.S. coal giant's bankruptcy proceedings that have lifted the curtain on the funding of a sophisticated continent-wide marketing campaign designed to fool the public about how human activity is contributing to global warming.

document, nearly 1,000 pages long, lists the Calgary-based Friends of Science Society as one of the creditors expecting to get money from the once-mighty coal company, Peabody Energy.

Climate scientists and environmentalists have long suspected that the so-called “Friends” group was a front for fossil fuel companies trying to block government action to reduce carbon pollution, but Friends of Science members always declined to reveal their source of funding.

Pages

Subscribe to Peabody Energy