Inherit the Windbags: New Monkey Trial on Climate Denialism

Setting the scene for a 21st century version of the Scopes Monkey Trial, coal baron Robert E. Murray is suing the EPA for “lying about so-called global warming.” Murray, whose Ohio-based Murray Energy Corporation is the nation’s largest independent coal producer, is on a tear about the Obama administration’s “war on coal”--by which he means the EPA regulations that have restricted pollution from the nation’s dirtiest coal-burning power plants. In an extensive interview with Jennifer Jett in West Virginia Executive magazine, he calls them “unjustified, illegal, and downright evil with virtually no environmental benefit whatsoever.”

No environmental benefit, that is, if you discount the huge reduction in carbon dioxide emissions that is helping to prevent runaway global warming. Murray, however, thinks everyone is fibbing about that:

 “Under the [Data Quality] act, they are obligated to tell the truth, and they are not telling the truth about global warming. They are not telling hardly any truth about the science. The earth has actually cooled over the last 17 years, so under the Data Quality Act, they’ve actually been lying about so-called global warming. This lawsuit will force them to not just take data from the environmentalists and publish it, as they have been doing, but to review that data and make sure it’s accurate.”

Murray’s 17-years-of-cooling claim is a popular one among climate-change denialists; PolitiFact does a good job of explaining why it’s full of hooey here. But no one tell Murray about that, OK? Because the court case on his suit would be more fun than a barrel of monkeys. 

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