November 12, 2014
Peabody CEO Gregory Boyce
Peabody CEO Gregory Boyce

Peabody Energy CEO: Burning ‘Dung’ Real Environmental Issue, Not Coal

Another CNBC interview, another slow pitch interview for a fossil fuel executive.

Not too long ago, Republic Report caught a CNBC producer soliciting climate change denier pundits to “balance” a report about the costs of inaction on carbon emissions. Last weekend, CNBC brought on Gregory Boyce, Peabody Energy’s chief executive, to uncritically discuss how his coal company is attempting to airbrush the image of coal.

“People have this stigma that coal is the dirtiest form of electricity,” said the CNBC reporter. “How do you battle against that stigma?”

That “stigma” is based on reality. Coal-fired power plants are the largest contributors to …

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July 28, 2014
Don Blankenship receives a shoe shine at the Mandalay Bay hotel.
Don Blankenship receives a shoe shine at the Mandalay Bay hotel.

Disgraced Coal Baron Don Blankenship Rebrands As A Libertarian Activist

Among visitors to Freedom Fest, a libertarian convention in Las Vegas, you might miss the aging Don Blankenship amid other middle aged attendees and a swarm of college students in three piece suits. Blankenship, wearing a bowling shirt and tan slacks, moves from panel to panel carrying a tote bag filled with free schwag — of which there was a lot to choose from, including this “water bottle” from the Charles Koch Institute — like anyone else. The former CEO of Massey Energy became the most feared man in West Virginia for his ruthless control over his mines and for …

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May 12, 2014
robert-e-murray_original

Federal Judge Dismisses Libel Suit Brought By Coal CEO Robert Murray: The Opinion

This morning, United States District Judge Gregory L. Frost dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed by Robert Murray, CEO of coal company Murray Energy, against blogger Mike Stark and the Huffington Post.  Some reporting on the case is here and here.  Stark was represented by the ACLU of Ohio and me.  Below I’ve posted Judge Frost’s decision and the papers filed by both sides in the case.

Judge Frost’s Decision Granting Motions to Dismiss

Robert Murray’s Complaint

Mike Stark’s Motion to Dismiss

Huffington Post’s Motion to Dismiss

Murray’s Opposition to Stark Motion to Dismiss

Murray’s Opposition to Huffington Post’s …

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April 25, 2014
mduncan

VIDEO: Chief Coal Industry Lobbyist Won’t Say If Coal Causes Climate Change

Does burning coal, one of the most carbon-intensive fuel sources on the planet, contribute to climate change?

That simple question stumped the industry’s most prominent advocate, Robert “Mike” Duncan, at a Colorado mining conference last week. Asked twice by Republic Report, Duncan first said that a “lot of people believe” that coal causes climate change, before replying, “I’m not answering your question.”

Duncan, the president and CEO of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), gave a talk to a room filled with mining industry executives about the dangers of new EPA rules concerning greenhouse emissions. ACCCE, which represents the …

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February 25, 2014
ncgov

Governors’ Coastal Drilling Coalition Tied to Oil Lobbying Firm, Metadata Reveals

Since 2011, a group of governors have sought to expand coast oil and gas drilling through an organization called the Outer Continental Shelf Governors Coalition. On Monday, Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) became the first Democrat to join the effort, which includes Republican governors from North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Alaska, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. Gov. Pat McCrory (R-NC) is the current chair of the OCS Governors Coalition.

The organization claims that it is merely seeking new revenues for state governments. New revenues from oil and gas exploration “can help state and local governments fund coastal conservation and hurricane protection …

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February 4, 2014
Screen Shot 2014-02-04 at 11.37.46 AM

Breaking For-Profit College News: VA Shopping Tool, Coalition Letter, Andrews Quitting

Developments are happening at lightning speed on for-profit college issues.

This morning:

1. The Department of Veterans affairs launched a new website, the GI Bill Comparison Tool, allowing vets, and to some extent other students, to compare college options. The initiative is part of action on President Obama’s 2012 executive order to protect vets and current service members against predatory education practices, an order that the for-profit colleges’ trade association, APSCU, called a “deeply unfortunate development.”  The site is still missing some information as to some colleges, but it has a lot of useful material for prospective students — for-profit colleges are …

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January 18, 2014
Screen Shot 2014-01-18 at 10.30.40 AM

Media for Sale: Coal Lobby Buys Politico, Real Clear Politics Events

Last week, the political news website Real Clear Politics hosted a Washington DC event (video) targeted at an elite media and policy audience. Held at the gleaming Newseum, site of many such events, it was entitled, “U.S. Energy Policy: The Road Ahead,” and appeared to be a genuine policy discussion. It was, in fact, an infomercial.

The event was sponsored by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), a major trade organization for the U.S. coal industry. ACCCE was paying to have an energy discussion before journalists and policymakers – and for the opportunity to have ACCCE’s CEO Mike Duncan …

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November 1, 2013

Blogger asks Court: Dismiss Libel Case Over Article Linking Cuccinelli to Coal CEO Murray

This morning, my co-counsel from the ACLU of Ohio and I filed a motion asking a federal court to dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed by Robert Murray, CEO of the coal company Murray Energy Corp., against our client Mike Stark. Murray has sued over this article that Stark wrote on the Huffington Post blog about Murray’s campaign donations to Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli.  Murray also has sued the Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington, and others working for her site.

We believe Mr. Murray’s case has no merit. All the facts alleged by Mike Stark in his article are true, and …

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