Robert Murray speaks to a recent fossil fuels gathering in Texas and praises Representative Lamar Smith for "investigating" scientists
At a Texas Public Policy Foundation event this week where the fossil fuel industry gathered to plot their attacks on the climate, the owner and CEO of coal giant Murray Energy thanked the industry’s leading inquisitor for using the U.S. Congress to attack scientists.
Murray, according to The Intercept praised Lamar Smith (R, Texas) and suggested that Smith continue to "investigate" scientists who believe in climate change:
Murray, speaking at a gathering in Austin last week for global warming deniers organized by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, said he wanted to “congratulate” Smith on his subpoena of Kathryn Sullivan, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Murray then declared that the American Meteorology Association and Union of Concerned Scientists, two private nonprofits that serve the scientific community, also “need to be investigated.”
“They’re crony capitalists, they’re making a fortune off of you the taxpayer,” said Murray, who stood up to praise the Texas congressman again on the next day of the conference. After receiving the second round of compliments, Smith thanked the coal executive and took a seat next to him.
And later in the article:
Critics say Smith’s investigations are designed to intimidate scientists whose research may pose a financial threat to the fossil fuel industry, which donates heavily to Republican Party politicians. Slate writer Phil Plait notes that Smith’s subpoenas appear “more like politically motivated strong-arm tactics than an actual attempt at oversight.”
The Intercept investigated who was funding the organization and found that the latest available figures pointed to the fossil fuel industry with the Kochs leading the pack.
(hat tip to reader JR for pointing me to the story)
More on Powder River and western coal
Earlier this month, I wrote about the unfair advantage that western coal, especially the Powder River Basin, has over eastern coal due to Federal subsidies and how the program is implemented. I asked why the local "newspapers" have never dealt with the subject (let alone attacked the subsidies) and speculated that it was because their sympathies are actually with the coal companies rather than the workers. (Don't worry about Appalachian miners, the coal companies are still making money, right?) This week's New Yorker, out today, has a an excellent article that explains how these subsidies work and how PRB undercuts the Clean Power Plan:
Besides costing the taxpayer billions, these subsidies have had a dismal impact on the environment: by artificially holding down the price of coal, they’ve encouraged utilities to use more of it than they otherwise would, slowing the transition to natural gas and renewables.
Britain to close all coal mines by 2025
The UK plans to shut down all its coal-fired power plants by 2025 and replace the energy source largely with natural gas, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd announced Wednesday.
“It cannot be satisfactory for an advanced economy like the UK to be relying on polluting, carbon intensive 50-year-old coal-fired power stations,” Rudd said.