A Major Coal Company Went Bust. Its Bankruptcy Filing Shows That It Was Funding Climate Change Denialism

A Major Coal Company Went Bust. Its Bankruptcy Filing Shows That It Was Funding Climate Change Denialism

  • The bankruptcy of one of the largest domestic coal producers in the country has revealed that the company maintains financial ties to many of the leading groups that have sowed doubt over the human causes of global warming.
  • The documents in the court docket show that the coal giant gave contributions to leading think tanks that have attacked the link between the burning of fossil fuels and climate change, as well as to several conservative advocacy groups that have attempted to undermine policies intended to shift the economy toward renewable energy.
  • The documents do not include information on the size of the contributions taken as a whole, the list of groups Cloud Peak Energy helped fund are indicative of how the company prioritized pushing climate denialism.
  • The document shows that Cloud Peak Energy helped fund the Institute of Energy Research, a Washington, D.C.-based group that has dismissed the “So-called scientific consensus” on climate change and regularly criticizes investments in renewable energy as a “Waste” of resources.
  • The Wyoming coal firm provided financing to an array of trade groups, including the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, the National Mining Association, and the American Coal Council, that lobby legislators on mine industry priorities.
  • Four years ago, falling coal prices led to a series of bankruptcies of the largest coal companies in America.
  • The filings, first reported by The Intercept, similarly revealed that the coal industry had financed a range of activists and organizations dedicated to spreading doubt about the science underpinning climate change.