Peabody Energy dumps retirees in to company "created to fail," then cuts their pensions and benifits
Peabody Energy, the largest coal company in the US and one of the largest in the world, is once again embroiled in controversy over shady treatment of employees. In 2007, Peabody Energy created Patriot Coal, a spin-off company comprised of Peabody’s eastern US mines. According to lawsuits involving the United Mine Workers (UMW), Patriot was formed as a place to stash union mines in West Virginia and the Midwest, along with the significant pension and health-care obligations that these eastern mines held. +
Dubious LNG exports study was conducted in secret by contractor with ties to coal and oil industries
The Heartland Institute
One South Wacker Drive #2740
Chicago, Illinois 60606
Founded in 1984 in Chicago, the Heartland Institute is a libertarian "think tank" that bills itself as "a national nonprofit research organization dedicated to finding and promoting ideas that empower people." +
The Heartland Institute and Climate Science Denial
The New York Times has called Heartland “The primary American organization pushing climate change skepticism.” Heartland pushes climate denial by attacking legitimate climate scientists, paying professional shills, and publishing misleading psuedo-scientific materials. Fighting climate legislation has become a central priority for their organization over the last decade, according to fundraising documents.
Attacks on Climate Science and Scientists
Heartland routinely attacks climate science and scientists, especially after “climategate,” when the emails of prominent climate scientists were hacked and stolen from East Anglia University. Heartland used various lines from the emails, taken out of context, to promote the idea that a conspiracy of international science bodies are hiding the truth about the global climate.
The Heartland Institute has recieved harsh criticism for its billboard campaign that equated climate change advocacy with mass murder and terrorism. The billboards featured pictures of Ted Kaczynski, Charles Manson, and Fidel Castro, next to the text “I still believe in Global Warming. Do You?”
Heartland also funds the Non-governmental Intenational Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), which is expressly dedicated to attacking the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change reports. The NIPCC produces a report called "Climate Change Reconsidered"
Funding Climate Denial Meetings
A key part of Heartland’s assault on the scientific evidence of climate change is the climate denial meetings Heartland funds and organizes. Heartland has put on six conferences on climate denial in the past 5 years, and has recently announced a seventh to take place May 21-23 in Chicago. The “International Climate Conferences” as Heartland calls them, provide a platform and meeting space for the small cadre of professional climate science deniers that have derailed meaningful solutions to the threats of global warming in the U.S.
Paying Climate Science Deniers
Heartland has long been associated with the small core of professional climate change science deniers. Internal budget and fundraising documents obtained in February of 2012 revealed that Heartland was paying significant sums of money to 13 of the most notorious climate change denialists - including Craig Idso, who is set to receive $11,600 per month in 2012, specifically to attack the International Panel on Climate Change reports.
Craig Idso is one of the principle drivers of the myth that “CO2 is good for you,” and increased levels on carbon in the atmosphere will cause a “greening of planet Earth.” He currently runs the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, a contrarian Arizona-based group funded in part by ExxonMobil. He is the son of its president, Sherwood B. Idso, and the brother of its vice president, Keith E. Idso.
Fred Singer, a true ‘scientist for hire’ who has also claimed that second hand tobacco smoke is not harmful, acid rain is not caused by pollution, DDT poses no threat to environment, and CFC’s are not affecting the ozone. Fred Singer is set to recieve $5,000 a month from the Heartland Institute.
Heartland’s payroll also included university professors in the U.S. and Canada and a senior advisor at the U.S. Department of the Interior. Several professors and the DOI advisor are currently under investigation by their employers over their failure to disclose the funding they received from Heartland to attack climate science.
"The Greening of Planet Earth" featuring Craig Idso
Pushing Climate Denial in Schools
According to its 2012 fundraising document, Heartland is paying $100,000 US Department of Energy (DOE) official named David Wojick to create a "Global Warming Curriculum" for grades K-12. The curriculum, for which Heartland plans to pay a total $200,000, asserts that "whether humans are changing the climate is a major scientific controversy."
Well known climate scientist Micheal Mann called the curriculum “so amoral its difficult to put in to words”
Collaboration with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)
American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which has peddled laws written by corporate lobbyists through state legislatures that make it easy for its dirty energy members, such as Exxon, Koch Industries and Peabody coal, to influence how climate science is presented to students. The so-called "Environmental Literacy Improvement Act," which has been introduced in seven states and became law in at least three, would establish a state-level council to oversee all scientific material presented to students, allowing companies to smother classroom science with K street politics. This council would notably exclude anyone with environmental science credentials, instead composing itself in the following proportions:
ALEC and Heartland have shared numerous staff and "experts" over the years, including Sandy Liddy Bourne, who was ALEC's Director of the Energy, Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Task Force for the from 1999-2004, before being promoted to Director of Legislation and Policy, where she oversaw all of ALEC's task forces and helped boost state enactment of ALEC's corporate bills from 11 percent to 20 percent. In Bourne's time directing ALEC's environmental task force, the "Environmental Literacy Improvement Act" was created and approved by ALEC's board in June, 2000.
Leaked Internal Documents 2012
In February of 2012, internal strategy and funding documents detailing the Heartland Institute's campaign of global warming denial were released to DeSmogBlog. The documents included strategies for raising funds from Koch brothers foundations, as well as a plan to create school curriculums that cast doubt on global warming science. See Polluterwatch's ongoing investigation for more details.
Though Heartland has claimed that one of the documents was a "fake", independent analysis has cleared Peter Gleick, the climate scientist who obtained the documents, of all accusations of forgery.
Corporate Sponsors Drop Funding
Media attention on Heartland’s extreme climate stance, and questionable tactics has caused major corporations to distance themselves from Heartland. In 2007 ExxonMobil, a major funder of climate science attacks, stopped funding the Institute, saying they could no longer support groups that “serve as a distraction” to the climate issue. However, major corporations like Nucor and Pfizer still fund Heartland’s activities. A full list of donors is available on Polluterwatch. A breakdown of corporate funding to the Heartland Institute is also available from Forcast the Facts.
Seventh International Conference on Climate Change ExxonSecrets map:
101 Constitution Ave. NW
Suite 500 East
Washington, D.C. 20001
The National Mining Association (NMA) is the national trade organization of the U.S. mining industry.
Formed in 1995 and comprised of over 300 corporate members, it is the largest and most powerful lobbying group representing the mining industry. NMA does not disclose who its members are. According to its website, the goal of the NMA is to “represent the interests of mining before Congress, the Administration, federal agencies, the judiciary and the media.” +
NMA recently began an astroturf campaign in support of exporting coal mined in the US overseas. NMA’s members include Peabody Energy, one of the largest potential beneficiaries from exporting US coal.
NMA spent $4.8 million on lobbying in 2012. One of the lobbying firms contracted by NMA is the influential Podesta Group.
From 1997 to the 2012 election cycle, NMA had spent over $40 million on lobbying, primarily on bills related to clean energy and green jobs, the regulation of greenhouse gases, coal mine reclamation, and carbon capture and storage.
Gregory H. Boyce, the current CEO of Peabody Energy, served as Chairman of the National Mining Assocaition.
NMA, with input from Peabody Energy, authored the talking points used by republicans against the Waxman Markey climate change bill that failed in 2010. The National Mining Association was listed as the ninth-largest association contributor to the anti-climate change effort, spending $4.2 million, primarily on the Waxman-Markey Climate Bill (HR 2454) to delay EPA GHG reductions
The Natinal Mining Assocaition runs COALPAC and MINEPAC, political action commitees that supports pro-mining candidates.
In 2010 NMA, the American Petroleum Institute, and other groups represeting the fossil fuel industry met with key Republican politicians including James Inhofe and Fred Upton to discuss President Obama's energy policy. The goal of the meeting was to "to lay the groundwork for a sweeping Republican-led effort to undercut Obama's climate agenda."
In 2011 Scholastic, the childrens books publisher, was caught distributing propaganda created by the National Mining Association to schools around the country. 66,000 fourth grade teachers received tralking points written by NMA to build into lesson plans.
Check out the latest cartoon by Mark Fiore, a spoof on the real-life habit of oil and gas companies to employ military specialists trained in psycological operations to convince U.S. landowners to sell their land for hydraulic fracturing. +