Last week, despite what Democratic members of the Federal Election Committee called “compelling” evidence that an investigation should be pursued, the FEC closed its file on allegations that Robert Murray, America’s last and flushest coal baron, had coerced his employees into giving to his super PAC.
Back in March, Robert Murray, one of America’s last remaining coal barons and “the sine qua non of climate denying,” hosted a fundraiser for Texas senator Ted Cruz at Wheeling, West Virginia’s White Palace. “I have not picked a candidate, but I do know that Ted Cruz needs some money,” he said at the time. As it turns out, Murray has quite a bit of money to give: FEC filings show that Murray’s super PAC, the Murray Energy Corporation Political Action Committee, has been stockpiling funds since the beginning of last year—it ended the first quarter of 2016 with $333,361 cash on hand.
On Wednesday, Donald Blankenship, former CEO of Massey Energy Company, was sentenced to one year in prison for conspiring to violate federal mine safety standards, a misdemeanor charge he was convicted of in December. Blankenship will also be fined $250,000 and be subject to a year of supervision upon his release from prison.
At Coal Cares — a new initiative from Peabody Energy, the world's largest coal company — you can order cool inhalers for your asthmatic kids, so long as you live within 200 miles of a coal plant. I'm partial to The Bieber, but there's an inhaler here for every taste — even one studded in fake Swarovski crystals! If it all sounds too good (or too awful) to be true, that's because it is. The entire coalcares.org website is a fake, created by The Yes Men — those Swiftian agitators with a talent for mounting elaborate practical jokes. Peabody, however, is very real, and an army of their lobbyists are currently attempting to block what would be the EPA's "first-ever national standards for mercury, arsenic and other toxic air pollution from power plants" — legislation that could prevent 120,000 new cases of childhood asthma per year. As the Bieb might say, that's kinda lame. [coalcares.org, image via Coal Cares]
Cobalt Coal Corp., a West Virginia mining company, has its own super-cool reality TV show on Spike TV about how dangerous its mines are, just like those Deadliest Catch guys. Unfortunately, the Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration was watching, and fined Cobalt for safety violations that it saw happening, on TV. Now if only they could do a reality show about Goldman Sachs. [AP, photo via Spike]
Dr. Seuss Enterprises is suing a new coal company that calls itself LoraxAG—the objection being that Dr. Seuss wrote the story "The Lorax" to encourage environmentalism, whereas LoraxAG is a fucking coal company. But the president of LoraxAG has a compelling argument of his own: "'The Lorax is the protector of the truffula trees,' he told [a trade publication]. 'We think this is the greenest use of coal.'"
CONSOL Energy is obviously having a hard time finding enough good people to join the ranks of the professional coal mining community. The company has produced an awesome virtual reality tour of a coal mine on its website, to help convince you what a great career coal mining can be. Apparently modern coal mines are made up of four rooms: "Challenging," "Rewarding," "Opportunity," and "Stability." Which one do you want to go to? I don't know, whichever one has the most coal! [via Adrants]