Two (or three?) more companies confirm departure from coal lobby group ACCCE

Two more companies – and perhaps three – have confirmed their departure from the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) this week, following the publication of our report detailing major companies’ departure from coal lobby groups.

Consol Energy told the Huffington Post:

Consol spokesman Brian Aiello said the company’s affiliate, CNX Coal Resources, now handles all relationships with coal trade associations ― and while it is a member of the National Mining Association, it is not involved in ACCCE.

That confirms what I noted in the report: “Consol Energy’s possible departure may be linked to the company’s decision to transition away from coal mining toward natural gas extraction.” Consol Energy’s departure from ACCCE highlights the growing divide between the coal industry and the oil and gas industry, and also represents the loss of one of the coal lobby group’s biggest original funders – Consol provided $5 million to ACCCE in 2008, according to tax records, a figure matched only by Arch Coal and Peabody Energy.

Speaking of Arch Coal, a spokesperson for the bankrupt coal mining company told Greenwire:

“We strongly believe in the good work the major industry associations are doing and the support they provide on issues that impact the mining industry and use of coal,” spokeswoman Logan Bonacorsi said in an email. “In this challenging market environment we have reduced our discretionary expenditures but remain focused on advancing balanced energy and environmental policies.”

So is that a confirmation of their departure from ACCCE? It’s not totally clear, but recall that Arch left another coal lobby group, the World Coal Association, on the same day that it warned it would likely file for bankruptcy.

Alpha Natural Resources also left the World Coal Association, on the day it filed for bankruptcy. And it turns out that it left ACCCE as well – that same Greenwire article reports:

Alpha, which has since emerged from bankruptcy, has left ACCCE, although it has not yet been removed from the group’s website.

The confirmed departures from ACCCE of Consol Energy and Alpha Natural Resources – and the likely departure of Arch Coal – represent the loss of some of ACCCE’s biggest original funders. Along with the departures of Duke Energy, Progress Energy, FirstEnergy, Ameren, and DTE Energy, ACCCE has lost seven (and probably eight) of the twelve companies that gave $1 million or more in its first year.

Posted by Joe Smyth