Fred Palmer is Senior Vice President of Government Relations for Peabody Energy where he is responsible for advancing state and federal policies related to the...
Fred Palmer is Senior Vice President of Government Relations for Peabody Energy where he is responsible for advancing state and federal policies related to the production and use of coal. Prior to joining Peabody, Fred served as Head of Counsel at Shook, Hardy, and Bacon in Washington, DC.
He is a member of the Board of Directors for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a member of the National Coal Council serving on the Executive Committee and Chairman of the Coal Policy Committee, and Chair of the Climate Change Task Force for the National Mining Association.
"We're 100% coal. More coal. Everywhere. All the time."
"We don't have a political allegiance. We're Americans and our political party is coal."
-Source: Guardian Interview, March 8, 2011
“We have a sustainable energy delivery system in the United States--it’s called coal-fired electricity.”
"Every time you turn on your car and burn fossil fuel and put CO2 in the air, you are doing the work of the Lord. It is the ecological system we live in."
-Source: "Staking the Globe- The Energy War is On!" (by Danish journalists Poul Erik Heilbuth and Hans Bulow, 1997)
"We are at the top of the food chain insofar as CO2 emissions are concerned. So if you get in the business of limiting CO2 emissions, of taxing CO2 emissions, of creating a value in CO2 emissions where people trade them in this emissions trading scheme, you go to the coal plants first because of the fact that that's the greatest source --single source--of CO2 that there is."
"[T]he science to me--and I have been involved, not as a scientist but as a lawyer--the science to me suggests, in the ten years I've been involved in it, that there is no basis, no mechanism that anybody can point to or look at to say that more CO2 in the air is going to lead to catastrophic global warming or apocalyptic global warming, as opposed to some mild warming, which is nothing to be concerned about at all."
"[T]he precautionary principle might say that we should put more CO2 in the air to prevent CO2 levels from being driven down to such low levels in the future by an ice age that it extinguishes plant life. And there are scientists that believe this."
-Source: PBS Interview
Fred Palmer has made a career out of leading organizations that deny the scientific seriousness of global warming. He was General Manager, CEO, and General Counsel of the Western Fuels Association, a coalition of coal-burning utilities that adamently undermine climate science to prevent coal industry regulation. Palmer also served as President of the Board of Directors of the Greening Earth Society, a coal-front spinoff of the Western Fuels Association that created short films titled "The Greening of Planet Earth," which sought to prove that drastic increases in atmospheric CO2 would act as a beneficial worldwide fertilizer. Career climate change-denying scientists, whose climate-related work is not actually conducted in the field nor valid enough to be published after a peer-review from actual climate scientists, served as "scientific advisers" to the Greening Earth Society, including Patrick Michaels, Willie Soon, Sallie Baliunas, and Robert C. Balling, Jr.
Despite a history of climate science denial and misinformation and continued lobbying against the US Environmental Protection Agency's lawful control of greenhouse gas pollutants, Fred Palmer claims to accept and confront the need to reduce the carbon intensity of coal production and combustion. Palmer sits on the board of the FutureGen Alliance, a $1.3 billion Illinois-based project to construct the first commercial coal plant to use carbon capture and storage technology, a stall tactic and false solution to global warming. Palmer continues to cite the debunked "climategate" emails after the exoneration of climate scientists whose emails were hacked and selectively published to implicate data alteration.
Palmer refers to China as the "leading testbed for carbon technology." At the expense of its people's health and the ecosystems sustaining them, rapid development of China's coal industry has led to external costs at an estimated 7.1% of China's annual GDP. While Palmer claims that increased coal use leads to "more people living longer, living better," rural Chinese have experienced shocking levels of exposure to coal ash pollution [pictures]. Greenpeace testing of coal ash [PDF] in China revealed known human carcinogens and neurotoxins, including lead, mercury, and arsenic, as well as concentrated radioactive elements.
Peabody has spent $29.2 million on federal lobbying from 2006-2010.