A closer look at the source of the image reveals the document’s origins:
Two employees of Peabody Energy are listed in the metadata of the map document: Chairman and CEO Greg Boyce and Communications Manager Chris Taylor. The congressmen opposing climate change legislation — Reps. Lucas, Graves, and Hastings — are simply copying-and-pasting information that has been directly fed to them by Peabody Energy.
Peabody Energy’s outsized political influence is well-documented:
— From 2004 to 2008, the Peabody Energy PAC contributed $579,538 to federal candidates including Rep. Sam Graves and Rep. Frank Lucas. In 2008, Peabody contributed $150,290; $180,500 in 2006; $130,250 in 2004; $118,498 in 2002. [Opensecrets]
— Peabody Is An $8.4 Million Lobbying Juggernaut. Peabody Energy directly spent over $8.4 million lobbying Congress in 2008, up 3,200 percent from 2004, as legislation to limit coal pollution became an election-year issue. In addition, the Peabody-supported front groups ACCCE and the National Mining Association spent a further $9.95 million and $4.56 million respectively on lobbying efforts. [OpenSecrets]
Democrat Marcy Kaptur (OH) may be joining the Republicans’ efforts. According to Roll Call, Kaptur “has been passing out maps contending that most states would lose out under the cap-and-trade bill crafted by Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Energy and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Ed Markey (D-Mass.).” It is unclear whether the maps Kaptur is handing out are Peabody’s maps.