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Peabody Energy
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12 января, 18:00

Pruitt Helped Block Garland Confirmation to Supreme Court, Then Fundraised From Polluters That Benefited

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President-elect Trump's choice to be the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), coordinated an effort by Republican state attorneys general to oppose the confirmation of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. Pruitt then used this effort as a basis to request financial support for his federal Political Action Committee (PAC), called Oklahoma Strong. In a March 2015 email (see here) that he sent to supporters of Oklahoma Strong, Pruitt boasted of his effort to block Garland's confirmation. Donors to Oklahoma Strong include major energy interests and leading D.C. law firms. Many of these donors have interests before the courts that could have been significantly affected by the confirmation of Garland. Oklahoma Strong has raised more than a third of its total funds from the energy industry, according to reporting by Politico. These have included contributions from Joe Craft, the President of the coal firm Alliance Resources, and from J. Larry Nichols, the founder of the fracking giant Devon Energy. Pruitt is well known to have strong ties to the energy industry. A 2014 New York Times investigation revealed that Devon Energy lobbyists had drafted letters for Scott Pruitt, which he in turn sent to the EPA and to the Department of the Interior under his own name and with almost no changes. Eric Lipton of the Times received a Pulitzer Prize for this reporting. Other donors to the PAC have included David Green, the CEO of Hobby Lobby, and Harlan Crow, the billionaire real estate developer from Texas who is reported to be a close personal friend of Justice Clarence Thomas. Partners from major U.S. law firms with interests at the Supreme Court, including Reginald J. Brown at Wilmerhale and David B. Rivkin at Baker Hostetler have also contributed. On March 16, 2016, President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to become a Supreme Court Justice, taking the seat vacated by the late Antonin Scalia. The next day, a letter was sent to Senator Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and to Senator McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, urging them to block Garland's confirmation. That letter was signed by 21 state attorneys general, all Republican. According to the email from Oklahoma Strong, Pruitt had asked his fellow Republican attorneys general to sign the letter, acting in his role as board chair of the Rule of Law Defense Fund (RLDF). The RLDF is a so-called "501C4" organization, which means it is not required to publicly disclose any information about its sources of funding. It was created in 2014 by the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), with which it shares staff and office space and holds some joint events. RLDF is highly secretive about what it does. For example, it does not put any details about its activities or meetings on its website. Despite this, the Center for Media and Democracy obtained an agenda for one RLDF meeting via a public records request. This meeting, held in April 2016, featured a session about blocking the Clean Power Plan. Scott Pruitt was a speaker on that panel, which also included David Rivkin, a partner at the law firm Baker Hostetler. Rivkin, also a donor to Oklahoma Strong PAC, is representing the state of Oklahoma in the lawsuit against the Clean Power Plan, which will likely end up at the Supreme Court. Currently, only two funders of RLDF have been identified, both with deep ties to the fossil fuel industry. One is Freedom Partners, the mega-fund created by Charles and David Koch, which gave RLDF $175,000 in 2014. The Kochs own Koch Industries, which operates a network of oil and natural gas pipelines and refineries. That isn't the only connection of RLDF to the Kochs. In 2015, RLDF appointed Samantha Dravis as its President, in a shared position with RAGA where she serves as Policy Director and General Counsel. Dravis joined RLDF from Freedom Partners, where she had been the organization's Legal Counsel. The other known RLDF donor is the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), which gave RLDF a $25,000 contribution in 2014. EEI is the trade association for the utility sector, and has already engaged in litigation in an attempt to block the Clean Power Plan. Unlike RLDF, RAGA must publicly disclose its funding sources. According to the Center for Media and Democracy's analysis of IRS filings, RAGA has raised almost $4 million from fossil fuel industry connected entities since 2014, including ExxonMobil, Peabody Energy and the American Petroleum Institute. The Center for Media and Democracy has previously released other materials on both RAGA and RLDF. These materials demonstrate the efforts of the two organizations to block the Clean Power Plan, and to help stall state investigations into ExxonMobil for its role in promoting climate change denial. A Senate confirmation hearing is expected soon on Scott Pruitt's nomination to be Administrator of the EPA. Following his selection by President-elect Trump, Pruitt has announced that he has stepped down from his position at RLDF, and has said that he will close down his Oklahoma Strong PAC. Despite this, little is known about what RLDF did during Pruitt's time as board chair. As part of the confirmation process, Democrats on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee have written to Pruitt asking him to disclose information about his role as board chair of the RLDF. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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02 января, 21:25

Electric Car Sales Set To Explode In Dubai

Sales of greener vehicles in Dubai look set to rise in the coming years as the government steps up its bid to reduce the emirate’s carbon footprint. The introduction of quotas for hybrid cars in government vehicle fleets, combined with campaigns aimed at encouraging Dubai’s motorists to switch to environmentally friendly automobiles, is expected to open up new markets for the industry. More broadly, auto sales should also receive a boost from the positive economic forecasts in the UAE budget, which put GDP growth at around…

30 декабря 2016, 20:30

Turkmenistan Signs Last-Minute Gas Deal With Iran

Turkmenistan has managed to avert the loss of one of its only two buyers of natural gas with some desperate, last-gasp negotiations. Iran’s Mehr news agency reported on December 30 that Turkmenistan has signed a new gas deal despite demands from Ashgabat for Tehran to pay $1.8 billion in alleged unpaid arrears for historic gas deliveries. Negotiations went right down to the wire, as Mehr news agency revealed. “Due to Turkmens’ persistence on [threatening] to cut gas exports to Iran over claims of a $2 billion debt, the Iranian…

30 декабря 2016, 20:30

China To Lower Export Quotas For Majors By 40 Percent

Larger quotas expected later in 2017 China will cut its export quotas to the country’s oil majors by 40 percent in the first round of licenses for 2017, reports Reuters, even as traders expect allowances for overseas sales to meet or exceed this year’s record levels. The Ministry of Commerce and the General Administration of Customs said the four state majors will be allowed to sell 12.4 million tonnes (90.9 million barrels) of gasoline, gasoil and jet fuel abroad next year, down from 20.5 million tonnes in the same round this year.…

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30 декабря 2016, 19:41

This $4.3 Billion Warning Sign Is Flashing In China’s Coal Business

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Coal has been one of the big stories of 2016. With this beat-down market taking flight during the last half of the year — lifting stocks of major producers like Peabody Energy to over 700% gains in a matter of weeks. Check out the chart below. (Click to enlarge)A late rebound in the coal market this year lifted Peabody Energy from below $2 per share to over $16 very quickly And news this week suggests things could be looking up further for international producers in this market. With problems apparently mounting in the world’s largest…

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30 декабря 2016, 19:41

This $4.3 Billion Warning Sign Is Flashing In China’s Coal Business

  • 0

Coal has been one of the big stories of 2016. With this beat-down market taking flight during the last half of the year — lifting stocks of major producers like Peabody Energy to over 700% gains in a matter of weeks. Check out the chart below. (Click to enlarge)A late rebound in the coal market this year lifted Peabody Energy from below $2 per share to over $16 very quickly And news this week suggests things could be looking up further for international producers in this market. With problems apparently mounting in the world’s largest…

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07 декабря 2016, 23:16

Are the Dark Days of Coal ETF Really Over?

Coal is an interesting area to watch after this election.

07 декабря 2016, 20:20

Trump picks oil ally Pruitt to head EPA

Pruitt has professed skepticism about climate change science, and his selection marks a major turning point for EPA.

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17 ноября 2016, 17:30

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Sunrun, Vivint Solar, Ballard Power Systems and Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Sunrun, Vivint Solar, Ballard Power Systems and Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital

16 ноября 2016, 20:05

Hoekstra, potential CIA pick, has long foreign, domestic lobbying resume

Former Rep. Peter Hoekstra, a potential Donald Trump pick to run the Central Intelligence Agency, previously lobbied on behalf of the Kurdish regional government, a Belarusian potash company and a Libyan organization, as well as many major U.S.-based companies.Vice President-elect Mike Pence took control of the Trump transition effort from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie last Friday amid reports that he is purging the team of lobbyists to square with the campaign’s theme of “draining the swamp” in Washington.During the campaign, Trump said he would issue a “lifetime ban against senior executive branch officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government.” Still, he backtracked on his opposition to lobbyists in a “60 Minutes” interviews earlier this week.Hoekstra, who chaired the House Intelligence Committee from 2004 to 2007, has been floated repeatedly over the past week as a potential CIA chief. But his lobbying record is extensive; he worked as a lobbyist for Greenberg Traurig and Dickstein Shapiro after leaving Congress in 2011, and then struck out on his own this year.The Michigan Republican, who served 18 years in the House and unsuccessfully pursued both the Michigan governorship and a Senate seat, currently heads Hoekstra Global Strategies, whose clients include Oregon-based manufacturer Columbia Helicopters and Michigan-based oil production outfit Core Energy, according to lobbying disclosure reports. In 2016, his company reported $68,500 in income from the two companies. In his work before that, at Greenberg Traurig and Dickstein Shapiro, Hoekstra lobbied on behalf of mutliple domestic corporations, including coal giant Peabody Energy and tobacco company Lorillard Inc., as the latter went through a $27.4 billion merger with Reynolds American. And like Rudy Giuliani, whose bid to become Trump’s Secretary of State has prompted scrutiny of his foreign lobbying work, Hoekstra has done plenty of work for foreign clients. Hoekstra declined to comment on media speculation about a potential nomination - or how his lobbying history might affect his chances of getting a job in the Trump administration. “Any characterization of what’s going on and who they’re bringing on, that’s for the transition team to talk about and not for me,” Hoekstra, who is in Washington today, told POLITICO in a brief phone interview.“I’ve talked to the folks at the campaign,” he said. “They’re going through a very complicated process. I’ve been impressed with what they’re doing.”Hoekstra served as Trump’s Michigan co-chair and advisor on national security issues during the 2016 campaign. He also said that he participated in several briefings with Trump on Middle East issues and the threat from ISIS before the election. “He learns very quickly and he behaves exactly the way I would see a CEO behave,” Hoekstra said of Trump.After leaving Congress in early 2013 he joined Dickstein Shapiro, and then moved in August 2014 to Greenberg Traurig, which also employed Giuliani. It’s there that Hoekstra’s foreign lobbying took off. Hoekstra worked on raising the Kurdish Regional Government’s profile on the Hill, meeting often with his former colleagues and their staffs. The Kurdish Regional Government is the semi-autonomous governing body of the predominately Kurdish northern part of Iraq. Their armed forces, known as the Peshmerga, have been instrumental in the retaking of Mosul and the larger fight against ISIS. He argued in the pages of the National Review that the United States must provide the Kurdish security forces - known as the Peshmerga - with weapons to defeat ISIS. “The United States needs to immediately provide it with more than light arms and artillery to tip the scales in their favor and overcome the firepower of the Islamists,” he wrote.From April 2014 to October 2015, the firm received just over $260,000 in payments from the Kurdish Regional Government, according to Justice Department records. (Hoekstra left Greenberg Traurig in August 2015.)The Libya Institute for Advanced Studies, an organization that’s partnered with the State Department to do educational workshops in the war-torn country, also enlisted Hoekstra’s services at Greenberg Traurig’s services in 2015. His goal was to “strengthen a dialogue with Members of Congress, Administration Officials and other key leaders in the United States to communicate the foundation and its leadership's interests and policies for LIAS and issues related to the security and development of Libya,” according to Justice Department records. Just after he left Greenberg, Hoekstra published a book titled “Architects of Disaster: The Destruction of Libya about the Obama administration actions in Libya.”The work was roundly dismissed by White House officials. But the Heritage Foundation’s James Carafano, who is working on the Trump foreign policy transition, called it “A graphic autopsy of what went wrong in Libya and why.” Former GOP Nominee Mitt Romney said the book “cuts to the core in identifying how a radical Islamist agenda left to its own devices cannot reconcile with Western ideals of tolerance and acceptance.” Hoekstra also helped lobby on behalf of a Belarusian fertilizer company worried about the prospect of U.S. sanctions during his time with Greenberg Traurig. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a Trump supporter as well, told POLITICO earlier this year that he thought Hoekstra helped organize a meeting with half a dozen company officials when the California representative traveled to the country on a government-sponsored trip. “We developed a very close and trusting relationship when he was in Congress and I always respected him,” Rohrabacher said. “So when he recommended the meeting I, of course, took him up on the offer.”

16 ноября 2016, 17:33

4 Green Stocks to Buy Despite a Trump Presidency

Evidence on the ground tells a different tale and picking stocks from the sector may still be a smart investment option.

15 ноября 2016, 00:05

Can Trump Derail The EV Revolution?

The day after the November 8th U.S. presidential election, the stock prices for electric car maker Tesla plunged 5 percent. Solar and wind stocks also fell, while the share prices for coal and oil companies surged. Peabody Energy, for example, the world’s largest private sector coal producer, saw its stock skyrocket by more than 40 percent on speculation that the Trump administration could breathe new life into the dying sector. The energy industry, in other words, could be substantially altered by a change in government policy, with clean…

09 ноября 2016, 21:31

Oil Stocks Soar After Donald Trump Victory, But Coal Is The Real Winner

Shares of U.S. oil and gas companies spiked Wednesday after Donald Trump won the presidency, but the biggest winner seems to be the ailing coal industry. Oil giants BP, Chevron and Exxon Mobil made modest gains of less than 1 percent. But stock in bankrupt Peabody Energy, the world’s largest privately owned coal company, skyrocketed over 47 percent. ConocoPhillips, a Houston-based oil giant specialized extracting gas from coal seams, climbed nearly 3 percent.  Trump vowed in May to revitalize a coal industry that had all but collapsed amid a series of ill-timed bets on Chinese demand and competition from cheaper natural gas and renewable energy. Like Peabody, Arch Coal, Alpha Natural Resources and Patriot Coal have filed for bankruptcy in recent months. The president-elect, who has denounced scientific evidence of climate change as a “hoax,” said he plans to scrap President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, his signature effort to combat global warming. The plan, stalled since February by court challenges, would have empowered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to force utility companies to slash emissions. In an ironic twist, hope for a resurgence of the world’s dirtiest fossil fuels comes as world leaders are gathered in Marrakech, Morocco, for the 22nd Conference of the Parties. Last year, the climate conference yielded the historic Paris accord, in which 180 countries agreed to curb greenhouse gas emissions in an attempt to avoid the worst effects from global warming. The treaty, which Trump threatened during his campaign to unravel, went into effect last Friday.  The solar industry suffered a major rout on Wednesday. SolarCity, the Elon Musk-led solar installer looking to merge with Tesla later this month, plunged nearly 6 percent. First Solar Inc. fell about 3 percent. SunPower Corporation plummeted almost 15 percent.  Trump has repeatedly slammed energy produced from renewable sources as too expensive and complained that wind turbines kill eagles. In fact, the price of clean energy has fallen drastically over the last eight years, and the renewable energy industries are producing more jobs than oil or gas.  “Let me tell you: the miners in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, which was so great to me last week and Ohio and all over, they’re going to start to work again, believe me,” Trump said at a rally earlier this year. “You’re going to be proud again to be miners.” Part of Trump’s appeal to struggling coal miners in Appalachian states stemmed from his accusation that Obama had waged a so-called war on coal. But the industry has been contracting for decades, including under Republican presidents. In 1985, coal employed 177,000 people. By the end of 2008, that number had fallen to just 86,000. Now it’s just about 56,000. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

09 ноября 2016, 21:31

Oil Stocks Soar After Donald Trump Victory, But Coal Is The Real Winner

Shares of U.S. oil and gas companies spiked Wednesday after Donald Trump won the presidency, but the biggest winner seems to be the ailing coal industry. Oil giants BP, Chevron and Exxon Mobil made modest gains of less than 1 percent. But stock in bankrupt Peabody Energy, the world’s largest privately owned coal company, skyrocketed over 47 percent. ConocoPhillips, a Houston-based oil giant specialized extracting gas from coal seams, climbed nearly 3 percent.  Trump vowed in May to revitalize a coal industry that had all but collapsed amid a series of ill-timed bets on Chinese demand and competition from cheaper natural gas and renewable energy. Like Peabody, Arch Coal, Alpha Natural Resources and Patriot Coal have filed for bankruptcy in recent months. The president-elect, who has denounced scientific evidence of climate change as a “hoax,” said he plans to scrap President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, his signature effort to combat global warming. The plan, stalled since February by court challenges, would have empowered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to force utility companies to slash emissions. In an ironic twist, hope for a resurgence of the world’s dirtiest fossil fuels comes as world leaders are gathered in Marrakech, Morocco, for the 22nd Conference of the Parties. Last year, the climate conference yielded the historic Paris accord, in which 180 countries agreed to curb greenhouse gas emissions in an attempt to avoid the worst effects from global warming. The treaty, which Trump threatened during his campaign to unravel, went into effect last Friday.  The solar industry suffered a major rout on Wednesday. SolarCity, the Elon Musk-led solar installer looking to merge with Tesla later this month, plunged nearly 6 percent. First Solar Inc. fell about 3 percent. SunPower Corporation plummeted almost 15 percent.  Trump has repeatedly slammed energy produced from renewable sources as too expensive and complained that wind turbines kill eagles. In fact, the price of clean energy has fallen drastically over the last eight years, and the renewable energy industries are producing more jobs than oil or gas.  “Let me tell you: the miners in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, which was so great to me last week and Ohio and all over, they’re going to start to work again, believe me,” Trump said at a rally earlier this year. “You’re going to be proud again to be miners.” Part of Trump’s appeal to struggling coal miners in Appalachian states stemmed from his accusation that Obama had waged a so-called war on coal. But the industry has been contracting for decades, including under Republican presidents. In 1985, coal employed 177,000 people. By the end of 2008, that number had fallen to just 86,000. Now it’s just about 56,000. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.