Court Docs in Bankruptcy Disclose Peabody Funding of Climate Denial

July 20, 2016

Documents disclosed as part of the Peabody Energy bankruptcy proceedings reveal what many suspected but couldn't prove — that the coal company spent major funds in secret to promote denial of settled climate science.

Peabody, the documents show, funded at least two dozen groups that sowed doubt about whether climate change is caused by human emissions and that opposed regulating climate emissions. Most of that funding had been kept secret until now.

Court disclosures in this case once again turned out to be even more powerful than open records law at prying loose secrets.

Peabody is the world's largest publicly traded coal company. Climate-control efforts have focused on coal burning, which emits more carbon dioxide than other fossil fuels. The documents show Peabody giving to lobby groups, political groups, industry front groups, and even individual scientists.

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