Western Fuels Association

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{{#Badges: CoalSwarm |AEX}} The Western Fuels Association states on its website that it is "a not-for profit cooperative that supplies coal and transportation services to consumer-owned electric utilities throughout the Great Plains, Rocky Mountain and Southwest regions" [1], including the Sunflower Electric Power Corporation. Two members of its board are Sunflower's chief executive officer, Earl Watkins, and the Sunflower's board chairman. Sunflower's partner in the Holcomb expansion, a Colorado co-op, also has members on the board. [2]

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

Western Fiels Association has been a corporate funder of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).[3] See ALEC Corporations for more.

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our ExposedbyCMD.org site.


The Association founded the Greening Earth Society in 1997 , according to a archived version of the Society's website, "as a vehicle for advocacy on climate change, the environmental impact of CO2, and fossil fuel use."[4]

According to a March 30, 2008 article in the Kansas City Star, Western Fuels and its director Fred Palmer targeted a message to farmers, small-town officials and rural legislators in the 1990s to promote the idea that considerable doubt existed about the effect of carbon dioxide on global warming. Palmer is now a senior vice president at Peabody Energy, , which partnered with Sunflower in 2007 to buy pro-coal newspaper ads featuring Chavez, Ahmadinejad and President Vladimir Putin of Russia, warning that Kansas would have to import natural gas from Venezuela, Iran and Russia if no new coal plants were built.[5]

Previously, the Association had, at the inspiration of Palmer, sued Friends of the Earth, the Earth Island Institute, Rain Forest Action Network, Turning Point Project, the International Center for Technology Assessment and Ozone Action, in Western Fuels Association v. Turning Point Project, No. 00-CV-074-D (D. Wyo. 2001), challenging the truthfulness of an advertisement in the New York Times on December 13, 1999, entitled "Global Warming-How Will It End?" that called attention to the problem of global warming. The lawsuit attempted to establish a new legal precedent involving political speech by invoking the federal Lanham Act, which applies to commercial speech among competitors. [6] The suit was dismissed. [7]

Contact Information


1100 W. 116th Avenue
Westminster, CO 80234
Phone: (303) 254-3070
Fax: (303) 254-3079
Email: wfa@westernfuels.org
Website: http://westernfuels.org
Contact: Duane Richards, CEO


2201 S. Douglas Highway, #130
Gillette, WY 82718
Phone: (307) 682-8051
Fax: (307) 686-6355
Contact: Meri Reidt, Manager of Coal Transportation


P.O. BOX 1809
Gillette, WY 82717
Phone: (307) 682-2839
Fax: (307) 682-6468
Contact: Brad Hanson, General Manager


P.O. Box 628
Nucla, CO 81424
Phone: (970) 864-2165
Fax: (970) 864-2168
Contact: Lance Wade, Mine Manager


P.O. Box 552
Prewitt, NM 87045
Phone: (505) 876-2270
Fax: (505) 876-2279
Contact: David Soros, General Foreman


Sherard, Sherard & Johnson
P.O. Box 69
Wheatland, WY 82201
Phone: (307)322-2107
Contact: Rex Johnson

Articles and Resources

Karen Dillon and David Klepper, "Lots of cash behind coal plant clash," The Kansas City (MO) Star March 30, 2008.

Related SourceWatch Articles


  1. Western Fuels Association Homepage, Western Fuels Association website, accessed February 26, 2009.
  2. "Lots of cash behind coal plant clash," Karen Dillon and David Klepper, The Kansas City (MO) Star March 30, 2008.
  3. Clearinghouse on Environmental Advocacy and Research, project of the Environmental Working Group, Information of the American Legislative Exchange Council, archived organizational profile, archived by Wayback Machine December 2, 2000, accessed August 19, 2011
  4. "Join GES", Greening Earth Society website, archived from March 2005.
  5. "Lots of cash behind coal plant clash," Karen Dillon and David Klepper, The Kansas City (MO) Star March 30, 2008.
  6. "Six Environmental Groups Slapped by Coal Association: The Global Warming Debate Heats Up," David Rubenstein, Corporate Legal Times, July, 2000.
  7. {http://web.archive.org/web/20070716185454/www.icta.org/press/release.cfm?news_id=17 Environmental Organizations Defeat Coal Industry SLAPP Suit: Federal Judge Dismisses Coal Industry Suit Attempting to Prevent Debate over Global Warming," News release, April 5, 2001.

External Articles