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U.S. coal politics

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This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.

This article is part of the Coal Issues portal on SourceWatch, a project of CoalSwarm and the Center for Media and Democracy. See here for help on adding material to CoalSwarm.

During the presidency of George W. Bush, it appeared that coal-fired power generation was on the verge of a major resurgence in the United States. Following a massive and consistent decline in new coal-fired power plant projects that began in the late 1970's, the Bush administration, along with other federal and state legislators - faced with rising oil and volatile natural gas prices - actively promoted coal as a low-cost energy alternative. The political connections between the Bush administration and coal executives have been central to the promotion of coal power.[1]

However, the substantial increase in public concern about global warming that has occurred in the U.S. in the last few years[2] - especially in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and of Al Gore's receipt of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his work on climate change - caused a increasing amount of public opposition to new coal-fired power plants.[3][4] Alongside this shift in public opinion, the growing power of the anti-coal movement - both in the U.S. and internationally, especially in the U.K. and Australia - made coal-fired power projects more politically costly, and the publicity surrounding anti-coal campaigns in turn spurred further shifts in public opinion against coal-fired power.[5][6][7]

In an effort to counter this trend, many of the largest coal mining companies, electric utilities, and railroads in the U.S. launched a high-profile marketing campaign, aimed at convincing the American public that coal-fired power can be environmentally sustainable.[1][8][9] Leading environmentalists condemned this campaign as an example of "greenwashing": an attempt to use environmentalist rhetoric to disguise the inherently environmentally unsustainable nature of coal-fired power generation.[10] As the influential Australian environmental activist Tim Flannery put it: "Coal can't be clean."[11]

Regulatory background

In 1970, the U.S. Congress amended and considerably strengthened the Clean Air Act of 1963, and created the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).[12] In 1971, Congress established a set of New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), which were further strengthened in 1978; these standards set strict limits on the amounts of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and particulate emissions that any new coal-fired power plant could legally emit (per ton of coal consumed). In addition, the Clean Air Act amendments of 1977 created three geographical classes (Class I, II, and III) that were used to classify existing air quality in the U.S.; in Class I regions, in which air quality is defined as relatively pristine, new emissions sources are very strictly regulated. These regulations thus necessitated the installation of pollution controls during the construction of new coal-fired plants; by 1980, the utility industry was spending $1.8 billion each year on pollution controls.[13]

The costs imposed by these new regulations were one cause of the steep decline in new coal-fired power plant projects that occurred during the 1980's; by the late 80's, the construction of new coal-fired power plants had slowed to a near-standstill. Another was the removal on the prohibition against using natural gas to fuel power plants, which led to a boom in power plants fired by natural gas. Between 1988 and 2001, net electricity generated by coal-fired plants increased by 22.2% (or 1.7% annually); this growth rate was significantly lower than the average 6.9% annual growth rate of coal-fired power production between 1971 and 1985. (By way of comparison, the growth rate of natural gas-fired power production averaged 9.2% per year between 1988 and 2001, compared with a growth rate of -1.6% per year between 1971 and 1985.)[14]

Coal and the Bush Administration

Coal industry executives placed their bets on George W. Bush during the 2000 presidential campaign. Among others, Peabody Energy contributed $250,000 to the Republican National Committee in July 2000; West Virginia coal executive James "Buck" Harless gave $200,000 directly to Bush's campaign, while Peabody Energy and The Southern Company gave hundreds of thousands more. Also, during the 2000 elections, Peabody Energy, Burlington Northern, and The Southern Company founded Americans for Balanced Energy Choices, which kicked off a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign designed to promote coal energy and counter the influence of environmental groups.[1]

The coal industry's wager on Bush proved highly successful. In his first few months as president, Bush abandoned his campaign promise to force coal plants to reduce carbon emissions, appointed Irl Engelhardt (chairman of Peabody Energy) as an energy advisor to his transition team, and named former coal industry lobbyist J. Steven Griles Deputy Secretary of the Interior.[1](Griles resigned from this position in December 2004; in 2007, he pled guilty to obstruction of justice in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, and was sentenced to ten months in prison.)

Bush also cut the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency from $8.1 billion in 2001 to $7.1 billion in 2008. These budget cuts dramatically limited the EPA's ability to enforce violations of the Clean Air Act: the number of civil suits by the EPA against polluters decreased by 70% between 2002 and 2006, and by late 2007 the EPA was employing only 172 criminal investigators, fewer than the legal minimum of 200 set by President George H.W. Bush. (Eric Schaeffer, the former head of the EPA's Office of Civil Enforcement, resigned in 2002 in protest of Bush's approach to environmental enforcement.)[15][16]

Perhaps most importantly, until 2007 President Bush refused - in the face of overwhelming scientific consensus[17] - to acknowledge that global climate change was caused by human activities. In June 2002, when the Bush Administration's Environmental Protection Agency stated that human activities were partly responsible for global climate change, Bush dismissed the report, calling it a product of "bureaucracy."[18] In October 2004, NASA scientist James Hansen strongly criticized the Bush Administration's approach to climate change policy, stating that "in my more than three decades in government, I have never seen anything approaching the degree to which information flow from scientists to the public has been screened and controlled as it is now."[19] In 2007, Bush began to acknowledge somewhat openly that global climate change was both a real phenomenon and was largely caused by human activities.[20] However, the Bush Administration continued to oppose mandatory limits on carbon emissions, and the U.S. delegation obstructed the adoption of any meaningful global climate change plans at the December 2007 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia.[21]

In late 2008, the Bush Administration began pressuring the Environmental Protection Agency to weaken pollution regulations for coal plants and allow them to increase emissions without adding controls. The new rules are tied to a plant's hourly emissions rate, and are intended to help extend the life span of older power plants without requiring them to install expensive pollution controls. Under the proposed regulations, even if a power plant's total yearly emissions increased, it would be considered to be running more cleanly if its hourly emissions were equal to or less than its historical maximum.[22]

A spokesman for the EPA said that the agency is committed to finalizing the rule by the time Bush leaves office in January 2009. Power companies have lobbied for weakened emissions regulations for many years, and the proposal was part of Vice President Dick Cheney's 2001 energy plan. The EPA is also considering another eleventh-hour rule that would permit more power plants to be built close to national parks and wilderness areas.[23]

The coal boom

This considerably more coal-friendly regulatory environment under the Bush Administration - combined with rising oil prices and volatile natural gas prices (the U.S. price of a barrel of crude oil rose from $21.77 in Jan. 2001 to $88.41 in Jan. 2008,[24] while the price of natural gas fluctuated wildly and unpredictably during that same period[25]) - resulted in a dramatic expansion in utility plans for new coal-fired power plants.

Between 1992 and 2006, the capacity of all new U.S. coal-fired power plants totaled approximately 8,500 megawatts, a fairly modest amount of construction.[26] However, soon after Bush's presidency began - and especially after large increases in natural gas prices - energy utilities began submitting an increasing number of [proposals for new coal-fired power plants]. In October 2007, a report by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory found that 45 coal-fired plants, with a total capacity of 23,240 megawatts, were either under construction or had already been approved by regulators; a further 76 plants, with a total capacity of 48,440 megawatts, were in various stages of the development process.[27] This total potential capacity of 71,680 megawatts represented 743% increase over the total capacity of 8,500 megawatts of all plants built between 1992 and 2006. Financial advisors, reporters, and environmentalists alike began to speak of a new "coal boom."[28][29][30][31]

Growing environmental backlash

However, during Bush's second presidential term, a rapidly growing proportion of the U.S. population began to view global climate change with increasing concern. According to a 2007 Yale University study, 56% of Americans considered global warming to be a very serious problem, compared with 40% in 2004; the 2007 poll also found that 68% of Americans agreed that global warming can be controlled by human actions. Furthermore, the study reported that that 86% of Americans thought that it was a good idea to increase funding for renewable energy research - and that 76% of Americans said that they trusted scientists at major universities on environmental issues, compared with 38% who said that they trusted President Bush.[2]

Hurricane Katrina - which killed 1,836 people and caused roughly $81.2 billion in damage when it hit coastal Louisiana and Mississippi in August 2005 - was a major factor in causing this shift in public opinion. According to a 2006 Zogby poll, 74% of Americans said that they were more convinced that global warming was a reality then than they had been in 2004, and 68% thought that global climate change was partly responsible for causing the hurricane.[32] This shift in public opinion was further bolstered in October 2007, when former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his campaign in favor of governmental action to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

This shift in public opinion on climate change more generally has also translated into increasing support for the growing movement against coal-fired power plants in the U.S. An October 2007 poll by the Opinion Research Corporation found that 75% of Americans would support a five-year moratorium on new coal-fired power plants if it was accompanied by increased investment in renewable power research; when asked what type of energy they would prefer their utility to use to power their house, only 3% opted for coal-fired power.[33] (This increasing tendency to blame coal-fired power plants for contributing to global climate change is strongly scientifically supported: the 2.12 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emitted by U.S. coal-fired power plants in 2006 represented 36.1% of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, and 7.8% of global carbon dioxide emissions.[34])

Along with this shift in public opinion, campaigns organized by a growing grassroots movement against the construction of new coal-fired power plants has forced many corporations and politicians to abandon new coal-fired power projects.[5] Numerous environmental groups - such as the Sierra Club, Rainforest Action Network, Rising Tide, Clean Energy Action, Mountain Justice Summer, and Earth First!, as well as smaller local groups - have organized high profile protests and direct actions against new and existing coal-fired power plants.[5] The result has been a slough of recent plant cancellations: during 2007, 59 coal-fired power projects, with a total planned capacity of at least 28,364 megawatts, were cancelled or put on hold indefinitely. The general public has often strongly supported these cancellations: for instance, after the recent high-profile cancellation of Sunflower Energy's Holcomb Power Plant expansion by state environmental regulators in October 2007 due to concerns about global warming, a poll of Kansans found that 62% agreed with the decision to cancel the expansion.[4] Also, a recent poll of Iowans found that 80% thought that state regulators should focus on energy conservation and fuel efficiency, rather than approving new coal-fired power plants.[3]

Coal industry response: "clean coal" marketing campaign

In 2000, in an effort to combat this erosion of public support for coal power, the Center for Energy and Economic Development (CEED) created Americans for Balanced Energy Choices (ABEC), a multimillion-dollar public relations campaign aimed at emphasizing the importance and downplaying the environmental impacts of coal-fired power production. CEED, which owns the domain name for ABEC's website, was founded by Peabody Energy, Arch Coal, Southern Company, and DTE Energy.[35] ABEC's members included:[36][35][37][38][39]

In 2006, these fifteen companies had total revenues of $146.5 billion.

In April 2008, ABEC changed its name to American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, listing 40 founding members from the "electricity generation, transportation, coal production, energy technology, and equipment manufacturing industries."[40]

In 2001-2002, ABEC ran several commercials over 1,000 times in the Washington, D.C., area. The ads claimed that the power industry had invested $50 billion in making coal "cleaner" (this figure can be compared with the total $3.5 billion U.S. investment in renewable energy in 2005).[41][42]

In 2007 - in a reaction to increasing public opposition to coal-fired power, and in an attempt to influence the 2008 U.S. presidential elections - ABEC increased its annual public relations and advertising budget from $8 million to $30 million, hired the advertising firm R&R Partners (whose CEO, Billy Vassiliadis, is also a Nevada advisor to the presidential campaign of Barack Obama), and launched a high-profile advertising campaign to coincide with the 2008 presidential primaries and general elections, spending $1.3 million on television, billboard, newspaper, and radio advertisements in Iowa, Nevada, and South Carolina over several months alone.[9][43] Teams of ABEC supporters - many of them paid - have canvassed outside presidential debates in several states.[9] On December 21, 2007, ABEC sent 30 campaigners dressed in Santa suits to the U.S. Capitol; the Santas delivered stockings full of coal-shaped chocolate to legislators, and promoted the benefits of coal energy.[44] On January 21, ABEC sponsored a CNN Democratic presidential debate - at which no questions about global warming were asked.[45]

Ongoing struggle

As is apparent from ABEC's list of supporters, the ongoing political and legal battles over U.S. coal-fired power plants are currently a central front in the overall struggle over U.S. political responses to global climate change. On the one side of this battle are some of the world's biggest corporations; on the other side are a number of major environmental organizations, alongside a coalition of smaller, grassroots groups. While the flood of project cancellations in 2007 and 2008 is certainly good news to environmentalists, the 85 coal-fired power projects that are currently either moving forward or under construction represent at least 47,600 megawatts of capacity - which is still vastly more than the 8,500 megawatts of new coal plant capacity built between 1992 and 2006. The No New Coal movement has certainly won some important victories, but the "coal boom" is very much still alive and kicking.

Gore Versus Obama Over Coal

In February 2009, The Bloomberg news agency reported the growing political fight between former US Vice President Al Gore and his Alliance for Climate Protection and President Obama over the isssue of clean coal.

As Bloomberg reported “The Gore-Obama split illustrates a growing debate in the U.S. as the new president attempts to deliver on his promise to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the country 80 percent by 2050. Depending on who’s speaking, coal is either the villain or part of the solution.”

Al Gore's Alliance is pledging to spend $300 million over 3 years on adverts atttacking clean coal. In the adverts it is portraying clean coal as a mirage. One ad featured an actor playing a coal company executive says, “Don’t worry about climate change, leave that to us.”

Hitting back, pro-coal adverts are being aired by companies such as Peabody, Southern Co. of Atlanta and American Electric Power Company – and their adverts show excerpts from a speech Obama gave in September 2008: “Clean-coal technology is something that can make America energy-independent,” Obama says in the ad, which has run on cable channels such as CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.

The contradictions of clean coal were also becoming apparent in the Obama Administration. His Energy Secretary Steven Chu called coal his “worst nightmare” in 2007. However, at his Senate confirmation hearing in January 2009, Chu said the fuel is a “great natural resource” that the “the U.S., with its great technological leadership, should rise to the occasion to develop.” [46]

Proposed regulation of greenhouse gases under Obama

April 2009: EPA declares greenhouse gases a threat to public health and welfare

Following from the April 2007 Supreme Court ruling on Massachusetts v. EPA, which found that the Environmental Protection Agency must regulate greenhouse gases if they are a threat to human welfare, EPA conducted a scientific review to determine whether carbon dioxide emissions constitute human endangerment. On April 18, 2009, EPA declared carbon dixodide and five other heat-trapping gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride) to be pollutants that threaten public health and welfare. The declaration set into motion a process of regulating carbon dioxide and other gases emitted by coal-fired power plants and synfuels plants.[47][48][49]

December 2009: EPA finalizes endangerment finding

On December 7, 2009, EPA finalized its endangerment finding that greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide are a threat to human health and welfare. The announcement was the final step in the April 2007 Supreme Court ruling in Massachusetts v. EPA, which found that under the Clean Air Act, the EPA must regulate greenhouse gas emissions if they endanger public health and welfare. The EPA's decision paves the way for new regulation of emissions from power plants, factories, and automobiles. Announced on the first day of international climate talks at COP15 in Copenhagen, the move gives President Obama new regulatory powers that could help gain consensus in efforts to curb global warming. Both Obama and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson have said they prefer climate change legislation as a means of regulating global warming pollution, but the finding provides an alternative means of establishing emissions limits if the legislation fails.[50][51]

March 2010: EPA Waits for 2013 to regulate carbon emissions from 50,000 to 75,000 tons a year

On March 3, 2010 EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson told the Senate Appropriations panel reviewing EPA's budget that the agency would focus on large polluters spewing more than 75,000 tons a year. “It will probably be at least two years before we would look at something like, say, a 50,000 threshold,” Jackson said. The initial phase of greenhouse-gas rules will go into effect in 2011 said Jackson.[52]

Senator John D. Rockefeller IV (D) of West Virginia on March 4, 2010 introduced legislation that would delay the EPA's carbon rules. The bill calls for a "two-year suspension" that will give Congress “the time it needs to address an issue as complicated and expansive as our energy future." Two House Democrats, West Virginia’s Nick Rahall and Virginia’s Rick Boucher, also introduced legislation that would put EPA's greenhouse gas regulations for so-called “stationary sources” on hold for two years. Rep. Rahall was co-author of the cap-and-trade bill that passed the House in June 2009 and would replace EPA direct regulation on carbon emissions.[53]

June 2010: Murkowski resolution to overturn EPA finding defeated

On June 10, 2010, a resolution by Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski - a "Resolution of Disapproval" to overturn the EPA's endangerment finding on carbon pollution - was defeated in the Senate by a vote of 53-47. Every one of the Senate's 41 Republicans voted in favor of it, along with six Democrats: Mary Landrieu (La.), Blanche Lincoln (Ark.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Ben Nelson (N.D.), Evan Bayh (Ind.), and Jay Rockefeller (W.Va.). The resolution would have overturned the EPA's finding that carbon pollution is a threat to public health and welfare.[54]

December 2010: EPA issues plan to regulate power plants and petroleum refineries

On December 23, 2010, the EPA issued its plan for establishing greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution standards under the Clean Air Act in 2011. The agency looked at a number of sectors and is moving forward on GHG standards for fossil fuel power plants and petroleum refineries—two of the largest industrial sources, representing nearly 40 percent of the GHG pollution in the United States. Under the plan, EPA will propose standards for power plants in July 2011 and for refineries in December 2011 and will issue final standards in May 2012 and November 2012, respectively. EPA will accept public comment on the plans for 30 days following publication of notice in the Federal Register.[55]

The EPA regulation addresses existing sources, using the statutes of the Clean Air Act's New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) to impose limits in 2012 on the amount of CO2 the biggest polluters can emit. The EPA said it would cover 40 percent of U.S. emissions.[56].

The EPA has also been developing a permitting program for new (or substantially upgraded) sources. In May 2010, the EPA issued its "Tailoring Rule," determining which sources will need to get permits (very large sources). In November 2010, it issued "PSD and Title V Permitting Guidance for Greenhouse Gases," which detailed that the permitting program would be run much like existing permitting programs: through the states.[57]

The regulations will be applied to plants that were "grandfathered" (exempted) under the original Clean Air Act.[57]

March 2011: Inhofe-Upton introduce bill to prevent any federal CO2 regulation

Waxman: 'All That Seems To Matter Is What Koch Industries Think'

On March 3, 2011, Senator James Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma, and Representative Fred Upton, Republican of Michigan, formally introduced the “Energy Tax Prevention Act,” a bill that they said would reverse the EPA’s finding that carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases are a danger to human health and the environment. According to Inhofe: “The Energy Tax Prevention Act stops cap-and-trade regulations from taking effect once and for all." The bill has 42 co-sponsors in the Senate, all Republicans. In the House, three Democrats joined Upton and his Republican co-sponsors - Nick Rahall of West Virginia, Dan Boren of Oklahoma and Collin Peterson of Minnesota, reportedly to protect key industries in their states – coal, oil and agriculture – that would be affected by greenhouse gas regulations.[58]

The Inhofe-Upton bill allows many Clean Air Act programs to continue, but takes away the agency’s authority to apply the landmark decision Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency to carbon dioxide. A deal negotiated with automakers to limit carbon dioxide emissions from cars and light trucks would be allowed to stand through 2016, but no further greenhouse gas emissions rules for vehicles would be permitted. State programs to try to address global warming and carbon emissions would be allowed to continue.[58]

On March 8, 2011, the House subcommittee on energy and power, chaired by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), held a hearing to discuss the science of climate change. At the end of the hearing, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) asked Whitfield to delay consideration of the Upton-Inhofe bill to overturn the EPA climate rules, including the scientific finding that global warming pollution is a threat to public health. Whitfield rejected Waxman’s offer, saying that his subcommittee will markup the act on March 9.[59] The previous day, Waxman said in a press conference that he was dismayed by the level of science denial among the Republican Party: "It apparently no longer matters in Congress what health experts and scientists think. All that seems to matter is what Koch Industries think."[60]

On March 15, 2011, Republicans in the House energy committee voted three times against amendments recognizing climate change, and then unanimously voted in favor of the Upton-Inhofe bill to repeal the EPA’s endangerment finding on greenhouse pollution. The 31 Republicans and three Democrats who voted in favor of H.R. 910 have received a total of $343,750 from Koch Industries, an average of more than $10,000 each. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) has received the most, with $79,500.[61]

2011 Republican-dominated House votes to cut coal regulations

In October 2010, the New York Times reported that the coal industry, facing a host of new EPA health and safety regulations, was spending millions of dollars in lobbying and campaign donations for the November 2 election to influence the makeup of the next Congress in hopes of derailing what one industry official called an Obama administration “regulatory jihad.” The article found that political spending by the coal industry is on track to exceed that of the 2008 cycle, when the presidency was at stake and Congress was debating climate change regulation. At the beginning of October 2010, coal mining companies had collectively contributed nearly $3 million to federal candidates, with three-quarters of the money going to Republicans, according to the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP).[58]

In October 2010, the Wonk Room reported that 21 U.S. Congressional races included avowed climate change skeptics,[62] and that of the dozens of Republicans vying for the 37 Senate seats in the 2010 election, none supported climate action, after climate advocate Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE) lost his primary to Christine O’Donnell. Even former climate advocates Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) voiced reservations on climate regulation. Many of the Senate candidates were signatories of the Koch IndustriesAmericans For Prosperity No Climate Tax pledge and the FreedomWorks Contract From America, which asks that America “Reject cap and trade: Stop costly new regulations that would increase unemployment, raise consumer prices, and weaken the nation’s global competitiveness with virtually no impact on global temperatures.”[63]

On Feb. 19, 2011, House Republicans - with zero Democratic support, and only three Republican dissenters (Jones (NC), Flake (AZ), Campbell (CA)) - approved a number of amendments to the budget bill (H.R. 1) that would prevent the EPA from updating rules on mountaintop removal permitting, coal ash storage, emissions of particulate matter, and a variety of other Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act safeguards. They also voted to block the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions.[64]

Such amendments included:[65]

  • Defunding EPA’s water quality guidance.
  • Prohibiting EPA from vetoing valley fill permits by prohibiting the EPA from carrying out section 404(c) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.
  • Stopping the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE)’s stream protection rule.
  • Defunding EPA’s effort to regulate toxic coal ash by prohibiting the use of funds by the EPA to develop, propose, finalize, implement, administer, or enforce any regulation that identifies or lists fossil fuel combustion waste as hazardous waste subject to regulation under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

All four of the amendments passed and were part of the government funding resolution that the full House approved. The whole bill faces an uncertain future in the Senate and a veto threat from the White House.[65]

On March 3, 2011, Senator James Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma, and Representative Fred Upton, Republican of Michigan, formally introduced the “Energy Tax Prevention Act,” a bill that they said would reverse the EPA’s finding that carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases are a danger to human health and the environment. According to Inhofe: “The Energy Tax Prevention Act stops cap-and-trade regulations from taking effect once and for all." The bill has 42 co-sponsors in the Senate, all Republicans. In the House, three Democrats joined Upton and his Republican co-sponsors - Nick Rahall of West Virginia, Dan Boren of Oklahoma and Collin Peterson of Minnesota, reportedly to protect key industries in their states – coal, oil and agriculture – that would be affected by greenhouse gas regulations.[58]

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch Articles

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  60. Brad Johnson, "Waxman: ‘All That Seems To Matter Is What Koch Industries Think’" Wonk Room, March 7, 2011.
  61. Brad Johnson, "Committee From Koch Votes To Deny Climate Change" Wonk Room, March 15, 2011.
  62. Brad Johnson, "Heartland Grows New Crop Of Anti-Climate Governor Candidates" The Wonk Room, Oct. 12, 2010.
  63. Brad Johnson, "GOP Senate Candidates Oppose Climate Science And Policy" The Wonk Room, Sep. 29, 2010.
  64. "House Passes Dangerous Budget In The Dark Of Night" Appalachian Voices, Feb. 21, 2011.
  65. 65.0 65.1 Ken Ward Jr., "About the GOP House mining budget riders …" Coal Tattoo, Feb. 22, 2011.

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