The Yes Men | Coal for the Rich
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Coal for the Rich

Reveal Date

April 14, 2011


Environment, Healthcare, Politics


Students from Columbia College in Chicago came together with Greenpeace and The Yes Lab to take on the Chicago coal industry. The group created an elaborate scheme to announce that a new Coal Plant was planned—but instead of going in a poor neighborhood (like the two coal plants that already exist), this one would be built in a rich one.


First, a Midwest Generation website quietly appeared online.


Then, construction notices showed up on the lot where the new plant would be built:


Then, brochures started appearing the mailboxes of condo owners adjacent to the lot.


A letter from the city of Chicago also appeared in condo mailboxes, warning residents to remain vigilant in the face of potential future health effects.


Soon, “ambulance chaser” lawyers were in on the act as well.


Soon enough, a protest group was formed, and these fliers went up all over the neighborhood:

The protest actually occurred and was covered in the media. The “protest group” website pointed to a very real petition in favor of the Clean Power Ordinance, and full of facts about the two coal plants that already existed in Chicago neighborhoods, albeit poor ones.


Read the reveal here.