Stunning Admission Caught on Tape: Peabody Coal’s Climate Denial Marching Orders
by Connor Gibson
October 9, 2013
A high profile public relations executive once said, Nothing, and that means nothing, kills a PR career quicker than lying.
Funny enough, the same PR flack was caught joking with a coal mining executive about her responsibility to deny climate change science, depending on the audience. Oh no? Oh yes:
The key section is this:
“And one day I was quoted in the paper, because again I was speaking to the audience in Seattle, and I was like, Well of course were concerned about climate change. Everyones concerned about climate change. But what were saying is this is not going to contribute to climate change.
“But someone from Peabody got on a call, it was my second week on the job, and said, You were quoted saying coals worried about climate change? We dont believe in climate change! And I remember I was on the phone and I was like, I cant say that..ha. I cant say that in Seattle!” [laughter]
Lauri Hennessey is a public relations executive at Edelman whose clients include the Alliance for Northwest Jobs & Exports…which would be better named ‘the coal industry alliance to get U.S. coal burned in Asia.’ The exchange above was recorded at Platts 36th Annual Coal Marketing Days Conference. For the man who recorded this pessimistic conversation, the dark jokes came in heavy contrast to the “subdued” atmosphere among those running the outdated, polluting coal industry:
“It’s striking to me that it was one of the few times that I saw smiles and laughter during the conference. This occasion seemed a bit like predators chuckling over the helplessness of their prey. Hopefully their confidence is misplaced.
“They also seemed to talk as if they are a separate species from the people who happen to live in the path of their planned rail and port terminal expansions, mocking those who are asking reasonable questions about the impacts of exporting America’s coal to Asia.
“They clearly regard with contempt the majority of Americans concerned about climate change.”
See DeSmogBlog for the first hand account and transcript. For a primer on U.S. coal exports, check out Greenpeace’s nifty video featuring Arrested Development star Alia Shawkat:
This is an altered crosspost from my FireDogLake page, which didn’t include any of the transcript of Lauri Hennessey’s admission.