first_imgLobbying Spending by U.S. Coal Companies Down by Half Since 2012 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Catherine Traywick for Bloomberg News:Cash-strapped coal companies are reaching the conclusion that energy policy is a matter for the courts rather than Congress. As dwindling demand puts pressure on mining companies to cut costs and climate rules threaten their very survival, many are shifting scarce resources from lobbyists to lawyers.“They’re not reducing their political efforts; they’re simply shifting tactics,” said Jeffrey Berry, a lobbying expert and professor of political science at Tufts University. “As we’ve found with many EPA regulations, going to court can put a monkey wrench in the administration’s plans.”“It may be a better investment than going to your friends in Congress and asking ‘Can we have this?’” he said.Lobbying spending by major coal producers in the U.S. is down by about half from $15 million in 2012, according to a Bloomberg Government analysis of disclosure filings. Alpha Natural Resources, which filed for bankruptcy protection in August, last year spent just a third on lobbying as what it had in 2012. Peabody Energy, the country’s top coal producer, halved its D.C. advocacy from $3.8 million in 2012, cutting it by 20 percent between 2014 and 2015. Those declines are much steeper than those seen in the rest of the energy sector, according to Bloomberg Government analyst Bob Meteer.Among mining trade groups, which rely on member fees for their programs, the picture is even starker. The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity cut lobbying spending by 51 percent from 2014, while the National Mining Association cut back 44 percent, according to Bloomberg Government data.With shrinking resources, the mining groups said they see little to gain from lobbying the executive branch. President Barack Obama drew a line in the sand with the Clean Power Plan, an EPA rule that mandates a shift from coal-fired power to natural gas and renewable energy. Cheap natural gas is also stealing market share from coal.Coal Lobbying Down as Industry Throws Weight Behind Legal Battlelast_img

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