Washington Coal Club

Washington Coal Club

Background

The Washington Coal Club is a District of Columbia non-profit corporation “that meets monthly with knowledgeable speakers to discuss coal and industry related topics,” according to a 2016 website archive. Note that as of 2017, the website washingtoncoalclub.org no longer appeared to be in operation.1 Homepage, Washington Coal Club. Archived October 7, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/EyHFf

“The Club’s membership consists of over 300 individuals with diverse interests in coal, ranging from coal producers and transporters, legislators – both Federal and State, associations focused on coal’s role in the American economy, academics involved in coal-related research, and policy makers from both the executive and legislative branches of government.”2 Homepage, Washington Coal Club. Archived October 7, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/EyHFf

Coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler, the interim administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) after the resignation of Scott Pruitt has held positions as the Washington Coal Club’s Vice President and President. Most recently, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved Wheeler’s nomination to become permanent head of the EPA, pending a full Senate vote.3Andrew R. Wheeler,” Faegre Baker Daniels. Archived April 13, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/bzoIt 4 Josh Siegel. “Senate committee approves former lobbyist Andrew Wheeler to succeed Scott Pruitt at EPA,” Washington Examiner, February 5, 2019. Archived February 5, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/rkwOl

Wheeler’s profile at Faegre Baker Daniels consulting, as recently as April 2018, listed him as the WCC’s vice president. The group’s most recent tax filings, as of 2016, listed him as president.5 Josh Siegel. “Senate committee approves former lobbyist Andrew Wheeler to succeed Scott Pruitt at EPA,” Washington Examiner, February 5, 2019. Archived February 5, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/rkwOl

An informational brochure described the coal club as a “small informal group with a mutual interest in coal,” while boasting board representation and sponsorship from some of the largest coal companies in the country. Its mailing address in 2014 was listed as courtesy of Arch Coal. According to the brochure, its “main activity is a luncheon-meeting program, which is held monthly” and “on or close to the U.S. Capitol complex in Washington, DC.”6 “Information Brochure: Washington Coal Club” (PDF), Washington Coal Club. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

The Washington Coal Club’s website no longer appeared in operation as of May 2017. However, in December 2017, the group bestowed “Lifetime Achievement Awards” on numerous individuals including vocal climate change denier and Murray Energy CEO Robert E. Murray.7 Homepage, Washington Coal Club. Archived May 21, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/W1SNn 8Two Belmont County residents honored by Washington Coal Club,” The Times Leader, December 17, 2017. Archived July 11, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/ynGsw

Sponsors of the Coal Club have historically included large coal companies and industry groups such as Alpha Natural Resources, the National Mining Association, Arch Coal, Edison Electric Institute, and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association among others.

Stance on Climate Change

While the Washington Coal Club does not appear to have an official statement on climate change, it is notable that it has given Robert Murray—one of the coal industry’s most vocal climate change deniers—a lifetime achievement award in 2017.9Two Belmont County residents honored by Washington Coal Club,” The Times Leader, December 17, 2017. Archived July 11, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/ynGsw

Funding

According to an informational brochure, sponsor levels as of 2013 were reflected as follows:10 “Information Brochure: Washington Coal Club” (PDF), Washington Coal Club. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

Platinum Sponsor – $3,000 annually *
Gold Sponsor – $1,200 annually **
Silver Sponsor – $600 annually

*Platinum sponsorship covers the cost for two corporate participants at each luncheon meeting and one table for the
annual awards banquet.
**Gold sponsorship covers the cost for one corporate participant at each luncheon meeting and one ticket for the annual
awards banquet.

990 Forms

Key People

Name2004200720132014201520162017Position (WCC)Industry Affiliation
Rachel Rogier YYYYYTreasurer
Andrew Wheeler YY President
Ray Shepherd YVice President
Leslie Tate YYSecretary
Michael Eckard YYPresident
Anne Jacob YYYY Secretary
John Cassady YY President
Jacqueline BirdYYYY Board MemberWorley Parsons Group, Inc.
Richard BajuraYYYY Board MemberWest Virginia University
Susan CarverYYYY Board MemberCarver Consulting Associates, LLC
Tom AltmeyerYYYY Board MemberArch Coal, Inc.
Shannon Angielski YYY Board MemberCoal Utilization Research Council (CURC)
Warren Ziegler YYY Board MemberWHZ Consulting
Janet Gellici YY Board MemberNational Coal Council, Inc.
Rick Axthelm YY Board MemberAlpha Natural Resources
Tommy Johnson YY Board MemberCONSOL Energy
Virginia Gum YY PresidentDirector, Government Affairs, National Mining Association (NMA)
Andy RobartYY Board Member
Anita BedrosianYY Secretary
Bob EvansYY Board Member
Bob GentileYY Board Member
Carl BauerYY Board Member
Chuck RoyYY Treasurer
Lowell MillerYY Board Member
Paul OakleyYY Board Member
Rob DonovanYY Board Member
Robert JimesonYY Board Member
Bill Wemhoff Y Treasurer
Bob Romanosky Y Board Member
Craig Montesano Y President
George FumichY Board Member

Actions

December 13, 2017

Senator John Barrasso received a lifetime achievement award from the Washington Coal Club, according to a post the Senator made to Twitter. Barrasso has been listed as among 2018 “Koch candidates” by the Center for Media and Democracy’s PR Watch, maintains a lifetime score of just 8% with the League for Conservation Voters. According to OpenSecrets, Barrasso has received lifetime campaign contributions of over $1 million from the oil and gas industry, with oil giant Chevron listed as a top contributor.11Honored to receive a lifetime achievement award from the Washington Coal Club. Proud to continue the fight on behalf of all the hard-working folks in Wyoming’s #coal industry,” Twitter post by @SenatorJohnBarrasso, December 13, 2017. Archived .png on file at DeSmog. 12Senator John Barrasso (R),” League of Conservation Voters. Archived February 5, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/wyAra 13 David Armiak. “Who are the 2018 Koch Candidates?PR Watch, May 24, 2018. Archived February 5, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/Or4TG 14Sen. John A Barrasso – Wyoming,” OpenSecrets. Archived February 5, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/q2yjl

In January 2019, Barrasso wrote an article praising former WCC president Andrew Wheeler as “the right person to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.”15President Trump made the right pick for EPA: Sen. Barrasso,” USA Today, January 15, 2019. Archived February 5, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/Za4w7

“Overreaching regulations such as the so-called Clean Power Plan and Waters of the United States rule would have damaged our economy and cost Americans jobs with minimal benefit to the environment,” Barrasso claimed in the op-ed at USA Today.

December 2017

The Washington Coal Club Gave Bob Murray, the President and CEO of Murray Energy Corporation a “Lifetime Achievement Award” at its annual banquet in Washington, DC, The Times Leader reported. It also awarded Robert Gentile, Leonardo Technologies Inc. President and CEO. Murray has been an outspoken denier of man-made climate change.16Two Belmont County residents honored by Washington Coal Club,” The Times Leader, December 17, 2017. Archived July 11, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/ynGsw

Multiple members of Congress and industry representatives were present including U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci and Rep. Chris Stewart (both R-Ohio), Tom Altmeyer of Altmeyer and Associates, Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Ind., and Mike Eckard of FirstEnergy and president of the Washington Coal Club.17Two Belmont County residents honored by Washington Coal Club,” The Times Leader, December 17, 2017. Archived July 11, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/ynGsw

The Washington Coal Club also gave an Annual Achievement Award to Energy Department Secretary Rick Perry. DOE Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg accepted the award on Perry’s behalf. He also gave a keynote address at the event, speaking on President Donald Trump’s energy policies. “We have reason to be optimistic about coal,” he said. The “Administration truly understands the value and the necessity of coal—and the coal industry,” he said.18FE Assistant Secretary ‘Optimistic’ About Coal, Technology Advances at Washington Coal Club Event,” Office of Fossil Energy, December 13, 2017.

November 2014

The Washington Coal Club gave Senator Mitch McConnell its Annual Achievement Award. Bill Bissett, the President of the Kentucky Coal Association (KCA), presented the award to McConnell.19Senator McConnell Receives Award for Efforts Fighting War on Coal,” Mitch McConnel. November 18, 2015. Archived July 11, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/prjvW

“I accept this award on behalf of our coal miners and their families as we fight together against the President’s War on Coal Jobs,” Senator McConnell said. “I have been fighting against this President’s hurtful policies, and his Costly Power Plan in particular, since he first proposed it. I want our hard-working Kentuckians to know that I’m going to keep standing and fighting for them, no matter what the Obama Administration or its EPA throws at us.”20Senator McConnell Receives Award for Efforts Fighting War on Coal,” Mitch McConnel. November 18, 2015. Archived July 11, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/prjvW

Sponsor & Level2008201120122013201420152016
Platinum
Alpha Natural Resources YYY
CONSOL Energy YYY
Eastman ChemicalYYYY
National Mining AssociationYYYYYYY
Peabody Energy YYY
Technology & Management Services, Inc.Y
West Virginia University YYY
Gold
Alpha Natural Resources YYY
American Coal Council YYY
Arch CoalYYYYYYY
Coal Utilization Research Council (CURC)YYYYYYY
CoalBlue Project YYY
Drummond Company YYY
Edison Electric Institute (EEI)YYYYYYY
Faegre BD Consulting YYY
SAICY
Siemens CorporationY
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA)YYYYYYY
Silver
American Coal Council YYY
Cloud Peak Energy YYY
FutureGen Alliance YYY
Leonardo Technologies Inc. YYY
West Virginia UniversityY

Contact & Address

As of 2014, according to an informational brochure, the Washington Coal Club’s mailing address was “C/O Arch Coal”:21 “Information Brochure: Washington Coal Club” (PDF), Washington Coal Club. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

Mailing Address:

Washington Coal Club // c/o Arch Coal

// 2600 Virginia Ave.

NW Suite 505 // Washington DC 20037

Social Media

@USChamber/@USCCFoundation on Twitter.

Other Resources

Resources

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