Illinois Coal Association

Illinois Coal Association

 Background

The Illinois Coal Association (ICA) is a coal lobbying group based in Springfield and founded in 1878. According to their website, the group “represents the coal industry in the state in governmental affairs, in public relations and in related matters. Through the Association, companies producing coal in Illinois deal with issues affecting their interests with a single unified voice.” [1]

The ICA describes itself as a not-for-profit corporation that operates under policies set by its Board of Directors, a group made up of coal mining executives representing coal mining firms operating in the state of Illinois. Each year, a new Chairman is selected to help direct the ICA and its Board.  2014's Board Chairman was Michael Carey, Vice President of Government Affairs, Murray Energy Corporation [1]

Day-to-day operations are directed by a full-time president, Phillip M. Gonet, whose duties include “the coordination of relations between the Illinois coal mining industry and the various state agencies regulating the industry or interacting with it in some other way.” He has been President of the ICA since 2004.   [1]

According to the Association, “coal is needed now more than ever. […] Coal has been converted into a uniquely modern and versatile fuel - one mined through mechanization and by skilled workers and utilized in ways assuring the protection of the environment. […] Aside from the importance of coal in the energy picture, coal mining itself is one of America's traditionally basic industries.” [2]

Stance on Climate Change

While The Illinois Coal Association they don't provide an official statement on climate change, The Illinois Coal Association is a sponsor of the Heartland Institute's Seventh International Conference on Climate Change which brings together climate change skeptics who “oppose global warming alarmism.” [3]

 Funding

The Illinois Coal Association is represented by members of all major coal companies in Illinois. See “Related Organizations” for a full list of member companies.

According to FollowTheMoney.org, the Illinois Coal Association has given $232,820 to 122 different filers over 18 years, and lists Phillip M Gonet (Full-Time President of ICA) as their lobbyist. [4]

990 Tax Forms

 

Key People

According to the ICA's most recent 990 tax forms (See above):

  • Phillip M. Gonet — President & CEO
  • Donald E Coovert — Treasurer  (see most recent tax forms.
  • Michael Carey — Chairman (2014). Vice President of Government Affairs, Murray Energy Corporation.

Past people

  • Roger Dennison — 2010 Chairman Illinois Coal Association (Williamson Coal Company). [5]
  • Tom Austin — 2011 Chairman of the Illinois Coal Association (Springfield Coal Company). [5]
  • Kelly Spivey — Office Manager [5]

 Actions

November 14, 2014 - July, 2015

In November, 2014, The Illinois Coal Association (ICA) opposed a proposed rule by the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that would increase regulations and enhance protection for the nation's public health and aquatic resources under the Clean Water Act (CWA). [6
 
According to the Illinois Coal Associations' statement (PDF), “The Proposed Rule would significantly impede daily operations and routine expansions at many of our members' mine sites.” They ask the EPA to reconsider their proposal. [7]
 
in July, 2015, Murray Energy Corporation announced it would be suing the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to challenge the “Waters of the United States” rule, which they interpreted as saying any area “that is wet, or has the potential to be wet, would be subject to the Clean Water Act.” Murray Energy was also suing the EPA for rulings that would further regulate emissions of coal-fired power plants. 
 
According to The Southern Illinoisan, the Illinois Coal Association provided support for the lawsuits and was pitted against groups including the Seirra Club's Shawnee Group. [8]

July 7 - 9, 2014

The Illinois Coal Association (ICA) as an official co-sponsor of the Heartland Institute's Ninth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC9) in Las Vegas, Nevada. [9]

May 21 - 23, 2012

The Illinois Coal Association was an official co-sponsor of the Heartland Institute's Seventh International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC7) which has become a regular gathering of prominent climate change skeptics. [10]

DeSmogBlog researched co-sponsors behind the conference and discovered that they had received a total of over $67 Million from ExxonMobil, Koch, and Scaife family foundations. [11]

Related Organizations

Company Members [12]

Associate Members [13]

  • Assurance Agency
  • Aquatic Resources Management LLC
  • Bailey & Glasser LLP
  • BrickStreet Mutual Insurance Co.
  • Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc.
  • Custom Staffing Services
  • ECSI, Inc.
  • EMS Energy & Automation
  • Fabick Mining CAT
  • HMG Engineers, Inc.
  • Homeland Fuels Company
  • Illinois Eastern Community Colleges
  • J. Nelson Wood
  • Jackson Kelly PLLC
  • Martin Engineering
  • Midwest Reclamation Resources Inc.
  • MJ Insurance, Inc.
  • Progressive Rail Inc.
  • Rhine Ernest LLP Attorneys at Law
  • Sargas, Inc.
  • Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC
  • Sunrise Coal Company

Past Members (2012)

A number of additional companies, no longer listed, were members of the ICA as of 2012: [14]

 Resources

  1. About the ICA,” Illinois Coal Association. Archived October 25, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cXBbxRzs

  2. Coal In the Spotlight,” Illinois Coal Association. Archived October 25, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cXDF9lGb

  3. (Video). “Heartland Institute's Seventh International Conference on Climate Change” YouTube, Uploaded by User HeartlandTube, May 3, 2012. 

  4. Illinois Coal Association,” FollowTheMoney.org. Accessed October 24, 2015.

  5. Contact Information,” Illinois Coal Association. Archived May 24, 2014.

  6. Definition of 'Waters of the United States' Under the Clean Water Act: A Proposed Rule by the Engineers Corps and the Environmental Protection Agency on 04/21/2014. Federal Register. Archived October 25, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cXIwa4Bq

  7. RE: Comments on Definition of 'Waters of the United States” Under the Clean Water Act, Proposed Rule, 79 Fed. Reg. 22188 (April 21, 2014)” (PDF), Illinois Coal Association. Archived.pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.

  8. Murray Energy Corporation suing EPA over new regulations,” The Southern Illinoisan, July 9, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cXJz22lt

  9. ICCC9 CoSponsors,” International Conferences on Climate Change (The Heartland Institute). Archived July 27, 2015.

  10. Cosponsors,” 7th International Conference on Climate Change.  Archived May 10, 2012. WebCite URLwww.webcitation.org/67aLrXVpM.

  11. Michael Fisher. “A Closer Look at Heartland's ICCC7 Denial-a-Palooza Speakers and Sponsors,” DeSmogBlog, May 23, 2012. 

  12. Company Members,” Illinois Coal Association. Archived October 25, 2015. WebCite URL: http://www.webcitation.org/6cXEeeEKG

  13. Associate Members,” Illinois Coal Association. Archived October 25, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cXEmz76x 

  14. Members,” Illinois Coal Association. Archived February 17, 2012.