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Caring Coal

May 10th, 2011 · 1 Comment

Reminiscent a bit of Caroling Coal, my in-box this morning was deluged with Peabody Energy press releases (see full material after the fold) and other announcements of a new public relations campaign:  Coal Cares

Evidently stung by the medical community’s highlighting of the linkages between the burning of coal (mainly for electricity) and health problems in America’s youth, especially a heavy asthma toll, a decision was made to take steps to address the reality that energy usage creates choices and that all energy options come with costs.  To address the externalities of asthma costs, evidently there will be a move to make inhalers more available and affordable for youth living downwind from coal-fired electricity generation facilities.

From the press release (again, after the fold),

“Our actions are guided by a singular mission: to be a leading worldwide producer and supplier of balanced energy solutions, which power economic prosperity and well-being,” said Boyce. “Coal Cares™ brings this mission to life, empowering children everywhere to take control of their destinies, beginning with their own lungs.”

Recognizing that all energy choices have costs, we have a variety of paths to address these costs.  The government as solution path would create regulatory controls that would impose costs on those creating damage — moving “externalities” like health-care impacts “internal” to the business process and creating fiscal costs associated with them. Another political philosophy path would be to emphasize individuals and individual responsibility as per the decision to “empower children … to take control of their destinies.”  Coal Cares™ takes this second philosophical path. 

A question to ponder: Which path is the one that makes the most sense to you?

 

Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU) Announces “Coal Cares™” Initiative, New Nationwide Campaign Against Stigma of Childhood Asthma

ST. LOUIS, May 10, 2011 / PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Peabody Energy today announced the creation of an innovative new public health initiative designed to combat the stigma of asthma among American children ages 0-18. With Coal Cares™ (www.coalcares.org), Peabody will offer free, custom-branded inhaler actuators to children living within 200 miles of a coal plant, along with coupons worth $10 towards the purchase of the asthma medication itself.

“Too many young Americans face daily schoolyard taunting and bullying because of a condition over which they have no control,” said Gregory H. Boyce, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Peabody Energy. “By re-branding the inhaler as a cool, individualized, must-have accessory, Coal Cares™ will empower children to tell bullies: ‘suck it up.’” Children can choose from a variety of youth-themed inhaler cases, from tween faves like “the Bieber” and “My Little Pony,” to the “Emo” and “Diamond” inhalers for older, style-conscious youth. There’s even “My First Inhaler,” for tots.

Coal Cares™ launches today in commemoration of Asthma Awareness Month, the Environmental Protection Agency’s effort to call attention to rising asthma rates, especially among children. Coal Cares™ and its Puff-Puff™ line of inhalers is the first, and most ambitious, market-friendly public health initiative of this scope of any privately-owned American company, and testifies to the energy industry’s commitment to the well-being of all citizens, including the youngest.

“Our actions are guided by a singular mission: to be a leading worldwide producer and supplier of balanced energy solutions, which power economic prosperity and well-being,” said Boyce. “Coal Cares™ brings this mission to life, empowering children everywhere to take control of their destinies, beginning with their own lungs.”

“Coal Cares™ is emblematic of the return to self-reliance that healthy entrepreneurship demands,” said James Miasmus, Vice President of Government Affairs at Peabody USA. “Costly ‘scrubbing’ technology, on the other hand, is an untested and heavy-handed intrusion into our still-vulnerable economy. At Peabody, we’re thinking globally but acting locally, and locating preventive action at the point of consumption, where it belongs.”

“Coal Cares™ isn’t just the name of a campaign,” said Kevin Briesslau, Vice President of Communications at Peabody Coal. “It’s a philosophy, a way of doing business in harmony with the community we are a part of. After all, coal is the fastest-growing fuel in the world. We’re part of America’s heritage, and we’re here to stay.”

To learn more about Peabody’s Coal Cares™ initiative, visit: www.coalcares.org.

Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU) is the world’s largest private-sector coal company and a global leader in clean coal solutions. With 2010 sales of 246 million tons and nearly $7 billion in revenues, Peabody fuels 10 percent of U.S. power and 2 percent of worldwide electricity.

CONTACT:
Vic Ganey
Phone (314) 472-5539
SOURCE Peabody Energy

Tags: Energy · coal · emissions · environmental · environmental economics · pollution

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 frflyer // May 11, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    just when you think you’ve heard it all….

    “Costly ‘scrubbing’ technology, on the other hand, is an untested and heavy-handed intrusion into our still-vulnerable economy”

    And hey, if kids get asthma from coal, we’ll give them a $10 inhaler so the can ADAPT to coal. Like they will have to adapt to climate change, acidified oceans, acid rain, mountain top removal and the resulting ruining of natural waterways, mercury poisoning, and all the rest of the poisons from coal.

    “we’re thinking globally but acting locally, and locating preventive action at the point of consumption, where it belongs.”

    So I guess we all carry inhalers as examples of personal responsibility so the coal industry doesn’t have to be responsible.
    Are they really that insane?

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