Coal Owns Congress: Follow the Money Trail

Written by Amanda Starbuck

Topics: Coal, Finance

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Arch Paid Out These Politicos: DirtyEnergyMoney.org

Last week you may have heard about how International Coal Group is conspiring to pour money into three key election races in Kentucky and West Virginia.

Now you can track which of our elected representatives have already sold out to the coal industry, thanks to this DirtyEnergyMoney.org, a new online database from our friends at Oil Change International.

Just enter a politician’s name, coal company or a zipcode to follow the money trail from coal companies to Congress.

Q: Which politicians are taking money from mountaintop removal (MTR) coal companies?

A: Who’s not?

Arch Coal, recipients of the only new permit to create new MTR mines and valley fills since the EPA’s ‘tough’ new guidance was announced, has made financial contributions to more than 100 different Senators and Representatives. These contributions total more than $800,000 and include a substantial $40,300 check to Representative Shelly Capito (R, WV).

Patriot Coal, operators of the Hobet MTR mine complex, contributed almost $20,000 to Nick Rahall (D, WV). Rahall has also received monies from CONSOL and Arch.

Massey Energy has donated over $20,000, split between eight different politicians. The biggest Massey check went to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R, KY), who also appears to be the politican most indebted to Big Coal and Oil. Since 1999, Mitch has received a whooping $1,147,558 campaign funding from these industries.

No surprises that McConnell is leading the attack on the EPA’s attempts to tighten regulations around mountaintop removal mining.

Visit DirtyEnergyMoney.org, enter your Congress members’ names and let us know how much dough they’ve gotten from ol’ King Coal in the Comments section below.

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