Coal Barons Caught On Tape Laughing About How Stupid They Think We Are
by Ansel Herz
on Wed, Oct 16, 2013 at 3:22 PM
Well, this is horrifying.
Earlier this month, Mike Stark of DeSmogBlog caught an executive from Arch Coal guffawing with Lauri Hennessey, a public relations flack for an industry group called the Alliance for Northwest Jobs and Exports, in what they thought was a private conversation about Seattle's opposition to coal trains.
Here's what's at stake, per Cienna's reporting: They want nine trains towing uncovered cars full of toxic coal to hurtle through Seattle each day, transporting the stuff to a terminal built on a fragile Native American burial site north of here, for export to China.
Needless to say, the project is an environmental and public health catastrophe. Local officials from Seattle and King County are opposed to it across the board.
Hennessey and Co. seem merely amused by Seattle's hostility to the plan. They resolve, after having a good laugh, to "make it happen" anyway. In Seattle, "you can't say you don't believe in [climate change]," Hennessey explains, chuckling at how "interesting" Seattle is. As if believing in the scientific consensus on global warming makes the people of Seattle strange and backward.
And they all laugh at how she once worked for the Environmental Protection Agency. "I pull that out in the right crowds, because in the Northwest, that's a good thing, right?" Hennessy jokes. "You're an insider, a narc!" says another Arch Coal guy. Haw haw! Hear for yourself:
To be clear: In their world, climate change is not a real thing. And working for the EPA is like working for the enemy, almost like being a snitch.
It's smug (toxic!) wrongness all around. "We're depending on you, Lauri," Matt Ferguson, Arch Coal's Senior Vice President for Thermal Coal Marketing, concludes.
Lauri Hennessey and Matt Ferguson, the jig is up. You guys have zero credibility. Keep your coal trains (and your douchebag selves) the fuck out of Seattle.