The Lorax: "I speak for clean coal"

Unspeakable blasphemy: Dr. Seuss gets repurposed for a fossil fuel start-up company

By Andrew Leonard
Published January 29, 2010 12:29AM (EST)

In these days of relentless political absurdity and unending economic travesty, you may sometimes feel as if your disgust meter has completely maxxed out. There's nothing left that will shock you, you might imagine, as you take a jaded swig of your martini and shrug wearily at the world's gaunt tapestry of injustice.

And then you learn that a coal-gasification start-up has -- without authorization -- named itself after Dr. Seuss' environmental icon, the ("I speak for the trees") Lorax, in the deluded belief that if Dr. Seuss were alive today, he'd be a crusader for clean coal. And suddenly, your disgust meter goes to 11!

Wonk Room's Brad Johnson brings us the word, via

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."

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. And the Lorax endorses clean coal.

Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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