Written by Stephen Lacey
The U.S. Coal industry is so deeply unpopular, it has now turned to its imaginary friends for help.
That’s according to a linguistic analysis of a recent petition opposing new regulation of toxic coal ash. The petition, which was sent to the White House by the coal industry last year, featured more than two thousand Chinese names. That raised the curiosity of the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP). So the organization commissioned an analysis of the signatories.
EIP says the analysis shows that hundreds of the names are complete fakes. When translated, many of the Chinese “people” supporting the coal industry’s petition have names like “Steamed Bun Little Sister” and “Come to China Donkey.” The translator who examined the signatures determined that “most of the Chinese names in the petition are not authentic, and … appear to be generated by a piece of software or a group of individuals.”
The analysis of “Citizens for Recycling First” shows that the only recycling this organization is doing is recycling names:
This follows revelations in May that the coal industry paid people $50 to wear pro-coal t-shirts at an Environmental Protection Agency hearing.
With coal consumption dropping precipitously in the U.S., the industry is looking for some friends to help prop it up. But when buying them didn’t work, it appears that making them up was the next best option.
This post was originally published by Climate Progress.
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