In this segment of the Western Fuel Association’s (WFA) 1994 annual report, the association discussed their opposition to the “madness surrounding policy prescriptions emanating from the global warming debate.”
Highlighting WFA’s priorities at the time, this report defined the association’s business in two parts:
- “delivering coal at the lowest possible cost to our members” and
- “involvement in the policy debate swirling around coal and energy.”
With the exception of the National Coal Association, WFA lamented the “close to universal impulse in the trade association community” to take part in discussions regarding potential climate policy solutions. WFA described such participation as “arguing damages” after conceding liability for climate change. WFA felt that instead of negotiating regulation, trade associations should be challenging climate science.
From this perspective, WFA’s campaigns to deny the scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change can be viewed as efforts to avoid accepting legal liability for damages incurred from their product. To the WFA, accepting that CO2 emissions were causing a global warming effect would mean accepting responsibility for that warming. Recognizing climate science meant admitting culpability, which was something WFA was not willing to do.
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For more annual reports and documents on WFA, search for the Western Fuels Association within Climate Files.