Consol Energy Doubles Down On Romney

  • Scott Detrow

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Republican Mitt Romney, after his win in this week's Florida Primary

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has a friend in Consol Energy.
The Pittsburgh-based natural gas and coal extractor contributed $150,000 to a Romney-affiliated Super PAC in July. Consol executives also gave $22,000 to the Republican front-runner’s campaign during the most recent Federal Elections Commission filing period, which covered October, November and December 2011.
Not a single Consol employee contributed to former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum’s campaign or Super PAC, despite the fact the Republican worked as a consultant for the company after leaving office in 2007.
Consol’s contributions far outpace other natural gas extractors who are active in Pennsylvania.

According to Federal Election Commission filings, just one other major Marcellus Shale driller donated to a Republican candidate’s Super PAC. Chesapeake Energy gave $125,000 to “Make Us Great Again,” the Super PAC that backed Texas Governor Rick Perry. The Oklahoma-based company gave the money to Perry despite the fact CEO Aubrey McClendon donated the maximum $2,500 to former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman’s campaign.
All but one of the Consol executives’ Romney contributions were filed on November 2, less than a week after Romney attended back-to-back fundraisers at Pittsburgh’s – go figure – Consol Energy Center, which houses the National Hockey League’s Penguins.
Consol CEO J. Brett Harvey and 20 other employees, all but two of whom list their job title as “executive,” combined to contribute $21,000 to Romney that day. Another Consol employee donated an additional $1,000 a week later.
Just one other Republican candidate can boast of financial support from Consol during the most recent filing period: Ron Paul, who received $280 from a Consol coal miner in Ohio.

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