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Rail industry, utilities boost 'clean coal' coalition

Corporate documents reveal American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity funders

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The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity has been “the coal industry’s most public voice” in the on-going fight over new energy regulations proposed by the Obama administration, as the Center for Public Integrity’s Kristen Lombardi notes in her new article today.

And voluntary reports from major companies offer a rare glimpse at the flow of corporate money into this nonprofit trade association.

The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, which spent $1.7 million on federal lobbying last year alone, is organized under Sec. 501(c)(6) of the U.S. tax code — meaning it does not have to publicly reveal its funders or how much money they gave.

The organization lists about 30 member companies on its website. Six of them combined to give more than $1.9 million in 2012, according to a Center for Public Integrity review of voluntary corporate disclosures.

Rail company Norfolk Southern Corp. contributed more than $835,000 to the coalition last year, records show. It also gave more than $35,000 to the National Mining Association, which has also voiced concerns about President Barack Obama's push for more stringent regulations to curb climate change.

Meanwhile, American Electric Power Co. Inc. gave at least $503,000, CSX Corp. gave more than $242,000, Union Pacific Corp. gave more than $242,000, Ameren Corp. gave at least $72,500 and Southern Co. gave at least $50,000.

The actual amounts may be even more as the companies either disclosed only a minimum level of dues pay or the portion of dues that were explicitly used for lobbying purposes.

Many additional corporate contributions go undisclosed to the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, which raised $47 million in 2011, according to its most recent annual report filed with the Internal Revenue Service.

Adam Wollner contributed to this report.