Jim Talent, the former US senator from Missouri, argues for looser restrictions on domestic energy production in one of several commentaries included as part of the economic plan GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney unveiled this week.
“America has hundreds of years of coal reserves,” writes Talent, a Republican and key Romney economic advisor, blaming government regulation for hampering domestic coal mining and other energy production.
“The problem is not that America does not have energy. The problem is that our government – alone among the governments of the world – will not allow its own people to recover the energy that they possess.”
What the former Missouri senator’s essay does not mention is that the Washington lobbying and communications firm he leads as co-chairman, Mercury Public Affairs, counts among its clients Peabody Energy, a St. Louis-based company that is one the largest coal producers in the world.
Peabody Energy has paid Talent’s firm an average of $125,000 every year for the past five years to help represent its interests in Washington.
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