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Top Coal Supporters in Congress

Top Coal Supporters in Congress

A report from Greenpeace documented the relationship between the American coal industry and members in the House of Representatives. They published a list of the top coal supporters, and below is a  sample.

Jason Altmire, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, is a co-chair of the Congressional Coal Caucus. He is in the top quarter of House members who receive campaign donations from fossil fuel companies, according to the report. Three coal power plants in his district have no mercury controls, and no nitrogen dioxide controls. One has no controls on mercury, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide. Sulfur and nitrogen dioxides contribute to acid rain. He has voted in Congress in a pro-coal manner. It has been estimated these three coal plants contribute to 127 deaths, 207 heart attacks, 1,890 asthma attacks and various other health emergencies, per year.

Michele Bachmann, a Republican from Minnesota, is also in the top quarter of House members receiving campaign donations from fossil fuel companies. Two coal power plants are in her district.One has no mercury controls, and one has a pending application for mercury controls. One has no nitrogen oxide controls and the other has minimum sulfur dioxide controls. She has voted in Congress in a pro-coal manner.  She also wants to be President of the United States.

Jerry Costello, a Democrat from Illinois, is a co-chair of the Congressional Coal Caucus. He is also in the top quarter of House members receiving campaign donations from fossil fuel companies. There are three coal power plants in his district, with a varying lack of pollution controls. One plant has no mercury controls and one has mercury controls on just one-quarter of the plant. With 100 miles of his district there are eight other coal power plants. He has voted in Congress in a pro-coal manner.

Mark Ortiz, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, is a member of the Congressional Coal Caucus, and is in the top quarter of House members who receive campaign donations from fossil fuel companies. Three coal power plants in his district have no mercury controls. He has voted in Congress in a pro-coal manner.

Jim Matheson, a Democrat from Utah, is a member of the Congressional Coal Caucus and in the top quarter of House members receiving campaign donations from fossil fuel companies. Three coal power plants in his district have no mercury controls. He has voted in Congress in a pro-coal manner. Matheson has received $431,297 since the 2000 election season from the fossil fuel industry, according to the report.

Mike Rogers, a Republican from Michigan, is in the top quarter of House members receiving campaign donations from fossil fuel companies. Three coal power plants in his district have no mercury controls. The report estimates there are 454 deaths, 725 heart attacks, 7,280 asthma attacks, and other medical emergencies each year due to the coal power plants located there. He has voted in Congress in a pro-coal manner.

Image Credit: Staplegunthe

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29 comments

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11:11AM PDT on May 10, 2012

Almost forgot -- The argument about coal-to-liquid (CTL) because it's a "good thing". Watch the hype from the National Mining Assoc. Yes WITH a massive amount of heavy regulation. Even with carbon sequestration, the emissions benefits over conventional fuel appear negligible at best, though there is significant debate over the true impact. In addition to the emissions debate, reliance on coal as a transportation fuel would increase the other environment stresses associated with U. S. coal mining potentially affecting other energy markets. An MIT study estimates that an additional 250 million tons of coal, equivalent to 25 percent of the U.S. current annual production, would have to be mined each year to replace 10 percent of the country's present consumption of liquid transportation fuel. The RAND study puts the estimate at closer to 400 million tons of coal annually.

It's just not worth it.

10:57AM PDT on May 10, 2012

Jerry Costello (IL-12) is retiring after this year. I see John Shimkus (IL-19) worse. He actively speaks out about eliminating the EPA, gutting the Clean Air Act, reducing an pro-environment legislation. He's a real menace. There is no such thing as "clean coal".

10:45AM PDT on Jul 30, 2011

I feel for the poor people in west VA, that have to put up with this life stye given to them by the dam coal companies. Its not right and the environment what a shame. Vote these sentors or what ever they are out, greedy scam.

7:58PM PDT on Jul 28, 2011

And that's just a sample of coal supporters? Money talks. So wrong.

1:11AM PDT on Jul 24, 2011

Thanks for the article.

6:40AM PDT on Jul 22, 2011

I don't think there is such a thing as honor and integrity in government any more. I have lost all faith in our government at every level.

5:08PM PDT on Jul 21, 2011

It is all about the money. They prefer the cash cow rather than saving the environment and health. Simple.

1:49PM PDT on Jul 21, 2011

It comes as no surprise. And frankly I see little difference between your 2 main parties, just as I see little difference between our 3 main parties on this side of the pond. Or perhaps I should say 2 now that the Lib-Dem's have sold their souls in joining the Tories.

9:43AM PDT on Jul 21, 2011

Thomas, yes, Republicans are involved, but so are Democrats. Obama has been supporting coal for years, and expanded it in Wyoming greatly, and recently.

7:55AM PDT on Jul 21, 2011

Robert O, I work for a major research University and years ago I had a long conversation with a chemical engineer who had worked on converting coal into liquid fuel since the 70s. He said, yes, it would be possible in another 25 or 50 years, but the cost would STILL be significantly prohibitive. Coal is not clean, never has been, nor will it ever be. Governments need to stop "subsidizing" (aka, Corporate Welfare) non-tax paying energy corporations and invest in proven clean energy sources. With RepubliCONs around, no such luck with that.

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