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In November 2009, it was reported that LoraxAg, a company based in Marlborough, Massachusetts, had raised $1 million toward an initial $4.5 million funding target in order to make farm fertilizer from high-sulfur coal.[1] According to press reports, the $1.6 billion plant would produce urea and ammonia for fertilizer, and sulfuric acid for industrial users. The founders are Mike Farina, former COO and CFO of Atlantic Energy Ventures, Joshua E. Davidson, a telecommunications executive, and Michael Sununu, son of former New Hampshire governor and White House Chief of Staff John Sununu.[1] The company had chosen two likely locations for the plant, one in Kentucky and one in Illinois. The project would use coal gasification technology from Siemens AG.[1]

The name chosen by the founders for their company, LoraxAg, was based on the Dr. Seuss children's book The Lorax. According to Mike Farina, "The Lorax is the protector of the truffula trees. We think this is the greenest use of coal."[1] Blogger Brad Johnson criticized the choice of names, calling it a "shameless act of greenwashing." After being informed by Johnson about the name, Dr. Seuss Enterprises lawyer Karl ZoBell stated that he had been unaware of the project.[2] Dr. Seuss Enterprises sent a cease-and-desist letter to LoraxAg.[3]

In July 2010 the Sierra Club noted that the project has received no further mention and appears to have been abandoned.[4]

Project Details

Sponsor: LoraxAg
Location: Kentucky or Illinois
Type: Coal gasification
Projected in service: 2015
Status: Abandoned

Citizen Groups



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Rodney H. Brown, "LoraxAg lines up $4.5M for clean coal gas plant," Mass High Tech, November 30, 2009
  2. Brad Johnson, "'Green Coal' Company LoraxAg Dirties Dr. Seuss Legacy," The Wonk Room, January 27, 2010
  3. Sarah Gilbert, "The Lorax Speaks for Dr. Seuss, Saying 'Cease and Desist,'" DailyFinance, February 4, 2010
  4. ["Stopping the Coal Rush", Sierra Club, accessed January 2011

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