CEOs for some of the world's largest coal companies testified before the House Select Comittee on Energy Independence and Global Warming on April 14th, and it was quite a show.
There was plenty of predictable hype and misniformation about Carbon Capture and Sequestration, as the coal CEOs demanded more taxpayer dollars to pursue the myth of "clean coal" while ignoring all the reasons why CCS is a dangerous distraction from real clean energy solutions.
The real action came when youth activists confronted the coal CEOs with lumps of coal and blackened hands to show everyone in the hearing room that despite the industry's lobbying and propaganda, young people know that coal is dirty, and has no role in our clean energy future.
I hope that the efforts of the youth activists to challenge the coal CEOs with their dangerous and dirty fuel reminded the policymakers in the room and beyond who is behind the efforts to block solutions to climate change, and that young people will not sit quietly while our future is treated as though it were just another bargaining chip between polluter lobbyists and Congress.
The action was also captured by CNN:
Another interesting part of the hearing came when Chairman Ed Markey asked Gregory Boyce, the CEO of Peabody Coal, about his company's efforts to block the EPA's ability to protect the public's health and safety by cutting global warming pollution under the Clean Air Act. Congressman Markey pointed out that Peabody Coal explicitly states in their petition,
"Peabody’s petition is based primarily on the release of email and other information from the University of East Anglia (“UEA”) Climatic Research Unit (“CRU”) in November of last year."
Chairman Markey then asked the coal CEOs if their companies will now back away from their efforts to block the EPA's endangerment finding since the British House of Commons cleared the scientists of any wrongdoing.
Of course, the responses from the coal CEOS just reinforced that the efforts of polluting industries to undermine the Clean Air Act is really about protecting their profits at the expense of the planet and public health, and they will continue to use fake scandals to push their polluter agenda.
You can read more about the hearing from the Sierra Club's Bruce Nilles or hear from one of the youth activists about coming face to face with the dirty coal CEOs.
UPDATE: check out the video of the action and some selections form the hearing