"‘Green Coal’ Company LoraxAg Dirties Dr. Seuss Legacy"
In a shameless act of greenwashing, a coal-gasification startup has named itself without permission after Dr. Seuss’s beloved Lorax. LoraxAg, LLC, is a western Massachusetts company that is seeking investors for its “Green Coal Technology” of a coal gasification and chemical production facility. The company, whose principals include Michael Sununu, the son of former New Hampshire governor John Sununu, has raised over $1 million in seed capital to build a high-sulfur coal factory. The name choice was a deliberate attempt to cloak their coal-and-chemical company as an eco-friendly venture:
And, yes, the name is inspired by the Dr. Seuss story, Farina said. “The Lorax is the protector of the truffula trees,” he said. “We think this is the greenest use of coal.”
The “greenest use of coal” is keeping it in the ground — not blowing the tops off of mountains to burn it. While advanced technology to find less toxic use for high-sulfur coal is admirable, comparing it to the Lorax’s call to protect natural resources instead of plundering it is ludicrous. Furthermore, the comparison is an unauthorized copyright violation, the Wonk Room has learned.
“We had never heard of it until we heard from you,” Dr. Seuss Enterprises lawyer Karl Zobell told the Wonk Room in a phone interview. “We did not give permission for them to use the Lorax, which Dr. Seuss created. Typically we don’t like people to use Dr. Seuss terms without permission.”
In 1999, the hardwood flooring industry published “Truax,” a rewrite of the Lorax in which a logger convinces “Guardbark” that cutting down trees is really great and who really cares about endangered species anyway. The “green coal” of “LoraxAg” is similarly absurd.
(H/T Get Energy Smart Now)