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Peabody parody produces no winners, or does it?

Peabody parody produces no winners, or does it?

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Tuesday's coal hoax lives on.

The Peabody Energy Corp. parody, which was probably forgotten by most people who saw it, is apparently still fresh on the minds of folks at 701 Market Street.

The world's largest private-sector coal miner apparently sicked its lawyers on those affiliated with the elaborate online spoof, according to a letter from the company's lawyers, which was posted on the activist group's website.

The letter is addressed to Jacques Servin, also known as Andy Bichlbaum, who is among the leaders of professional pranksters the Yes Men. Environmental activists who pulled off the spoof, who call themselves Coal is Killing Kids, claimed the Yes Men helped carry out the hoax.

The activist groups publicly responded to Peabody on Friday by taking another swipe at the company and its coal industry peers:

As even you may agree, the root of the problem is not Peabody, but rather our system of subsidies, regulations, and lobbying that lets your whole industry continue its lethal work.

Peabody also threatened to sue change.org, the web-based activist platform, unless it removed a petition that was posted online as part of the spoof. Change.org complied, but not without some grumbling of its own:

Rather than spend valuable time fighting a lawsuit from a $7 billion coal company over a hoax petition, Change.org has instead decided to highlight the absurdity of this request.

Peabody, meanwhile, has removed a statement from its website that had been issued in response to the hoax.

Beside identifying the hoax for what it was, it cited analysis from the World Resources Institute, an environmental think tank, showing a link between human lifespans and per-capita energy use. 

The WRI was none too happy and had this to say in its public response:

WRI has never made such an assertion and has never done analysis to that effect. Second, this conclusion ignores critical factors related to energy production and human health.

In the end, no one is apparently happy with this week's Peabody caper... except maybe those who pulled it off.

 

 

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