June 4, 2018 Read More →

A courtside view of Scott Pruitt’s cozy ties with a billionaire coal baron

New York Times:

As the industry has retreated in recent years — total employment was just over 50,000 in January, down from 90,000 in 2012 — Alliance has fared better than most. As of December, it had 3,321 full-time employees at its headquarters and eight mines in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia.

The company increased production last year by nearly 7 percent, in part because it specializes in a relatively cheap, high-sulfur coal that can be scrubbed with existing pollution controls at most power plants.

“They’ve chosen some good mines, so their costs are not being driven up like others,” said Tom Sanzillo, a researcher at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a clean energy think tank.

Mr. Craft wants to grow even more — allowing “existing fleets to expand their capacity,” he said during an earnings call in January 2017, and exporting more coal — and he moved quickly last year to get Mr. Pruitt on board, according to public records.

A Courtside View of Scott Pruitt’s Cozy Ties With a Billionaire Coal Baron

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