National Mining Association

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The National Mining Association (NMA) is the national trade organization of the U.S. mining industry.

Formed in 1995 and comprised of over 300 corporate members, it is the largest and most powerful lobbying group representing the mining industry. NMA does not disclose who its members are. According to its website, the goal of the NMA is to “represent the interests of mining before Congress, the Administration, federal agencies, the judiciary and the media.”

To accomplish this, NMA lobbies extensively. NMA also runs Political Action Commitees (PACS), and ground level voter education campaigns through their Advocacy Campaign Team for Mining (ACT).

The NMA is dedicated to preventing the passage of any new environmental regulations.  They oppose attempts to keep mining out of wilderness areas and national parks, replying to efforts to protect wild lands with their standard response: “Further environmental standards or enforcement mechanisms are not needed.”

The NMA also staunchly opposes climate legislation that does not include large subsidies for carbon capture storage.  They also fund a number of “clean coal” greenwash campaigns.

In addition to their opposition to pro-environment legislation, the NMA has frequently sued the EPA to keep regulations on Mountain Top Removal mining, greenhouse gas emissions, and gas and oil drilling from being enforced.

 

Evidence: 

NMA recently began an astroturf campaign in support of exporting coal mined in the US overseas. NMA’s members include Peabody Energy, one of the largest potential beneficiaries from exporting US coal.
 
NMA spent $4.8 million on lobbying in 2012. One of the lobbying firms contracted by NMA is the influential Podesta Group.
 
From 1997 to the 2012 election cycle, NMA had spent over $40 million on lobbying, primarily on bills related to clean energy and green jobs, the regulation of greenhouse gases, coal mine reclamation, and carbon capture and storage.
 
Gregory H. Boyce, the current CEO of Peabody Energy, served as Chairman of the National Mining Assocaition.
 
NMA, with input from Peabody Energy, authored the talking points used by republicans against the Waxman Markey climate change bill that failed in 2010. The National Mining Association was listed as the ninth-largest association contributor to the anti-climate change effort, spending $4.2 million, primarily on the Waxman-Markey Climate Bill (HR 2454) to delay EPA GHG reductions
 
The Natinal Mining Assocaition runs COALPAC and MINEPAC, political action commitees that supports pro-mining candidates.
 
In 2010 NMA, the American Petroleum Institute, and other groups represeting the fossil fuel industry met with key Republican politicians including James Inhofe and Fred Upton to discuss President Obama's energy policy. The goal of the meeting was to "to lay the groundwork for a sweeping Republican-led effort to undercut Obama's climate agenda."
 
In 2011 Scholastic, the childrens books publisher, was caught distributing propaganda created by the National Mining Association to schools around the country. 66,000 fourth grade teachers received tralking points written by NMA to build into lesson plans.