I attended an EPA hearing on May 11th titled, “EPA Mining Policies: Assault on Appalachian Jobs – Part II” by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.” House Republicans framed a mythical tone that President Obama’s EPA has killed coal mining jobs by using its authority under the Section 404(C) of the Clean Water Act. One interesting note about this hearing is that through an Open Secrets search, I discovered $23,950 in campaign donations in the 2010 election cycle by Koch Industries to five Republicans present at the hearing. They include James Lankford (OK), Don Young (AK), Rob Gibbs (OH), John Mica (FL), and Larry Bucshon (IN).
A lobbying group in attendance was FACES (Federation for American Coal, Energy, and Security). They all wore shirts with the slogan, “Protecting American Coal Jobs”. They looked like they were actual West Virginia coal miners, but FACES is a coal industry front group, made infamous a few years back when the pictures of "grassroots" supporters on their website turned out to be purchased from iStockphoto.com.
While the Koch Brothers make far more money off oil than coal, the candidates they and other powerful lobbyists support have a profit-first, anti-regulatory mentality, which plays directly into the hands of the coal companies.