When President Donald Trump’s appointees to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) joined forces to sue for an extension of President Barack Obama’s temporary restraining order against coal mining operations, the American public had no idea how much influence the fossil fuel industry had in Washington.

Now the American people have an explanation.

The EPA and the NLRB are, in fact, the two largest lobbying organizations in Washington, D.C. and their employees have spent an average of $7,000 on lobbying each year since 2009, according to an analysis of data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

The coal industry spent nearly $5 million on lobbying in 2015 alone, the most recent year for which data is available.

The lobbying spending dwarfs that of all but a handful of the other major industries tracked by the center.

In 2017, for example, the oil and gas industry spent $6.4 million, while the coal industry raised $3.9 million.

That was a $7.5 million increase over the previous year, when the industry spent just $2.4 billion.

But while the oil, gas, and coal industries are spending billions of dollars to influence the policies of the White House and Congress, their lobbying efforts are largely invisible to the public.

In the past two years, the coal and oil industries have spent nearly twice as much as the lobbying firms themselves.

“It’s not a big secret that coal companies are the big spenders on lobbying,” said Jessica Vaughn, a senior fellow at the Center on Government Oversight, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization.

“But there’s a lot of room for improvement.”

And that’s because the coal-industry lobbies rely on outside groups, and outside groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have become much more active than they were a decade ago.

ALEC has become the go-to venue for coal-related issues.

The group’s members include powerful politicians and business leaders like former Texas Governor Rick Perry, who has been ALEC’s chief lobbyist.

“We’re talking about millions of dollars, if not billions of, going to these groups, many of which are not subject to disclosure,” Vaughn said.

In addition to lobbying for the coal companies, ALEC also provides training and guidance to legislators on how to deal with the industry, she added.

But even as ALEC has expanded its membership, the lobby has declined in importance.

While there are now about 300 ALEC members in Washington D.S., only one of those, Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), is a coal industry lobbyist.

And even though the coal lobby has become more influential in Washington and its members have become more powerful, it has not changed its behavior, according an analysis by the nonprofit Center for Media and Democracy.

In fact, ALEC has grown in size over the past decade, with about 20 members now lobbying for or on behalf of the industry.

In 2016, the center analyzed public records from the first quarter of that year and found that more than half of the groups that are now part of ALEC spent more than $200,000 in the first two months of the year.

The Center on Media and Politics found that ALEC’s lobbyists and employees spent an additional $2 million on their lobbying expenses in 2017.

And in the most comprehensive study of the lobbying activities of the coal, oil, and gas industries, the Center analyzed data from more than 1,400 public records filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Those records show that over the last three years, coal, gas and oil companies have spent more money lobbying than their peers in the other industries tracked, and the industry’s lobbyists have been the most effective lobbyists.

In contrast, the lobbying expenses of the labor groups were far less effective, spending less than half as much on lobbying.

For example, in the third quarter of 2016, a total of $10.4 of the $22.5 billion the coal industries spent in the last year on lobbying was spent on lobbying by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, according the Center.

And while the U,S.

Trade Representative and the United Steelworkers Union are the two biggest industry lobbyists, their contributions to ALEC have been relatively small.

In all, the trade groups spent $5.5 and $3 million on its lobbying expenses, respectively.

And, in 2017, the US.

Labor Department released a report highlighting the fact that coal, coal mining, and oil- and gas companies had spent an estimated $4.4 trillion on lobbying last year.

In recent years, however, the industry has changed its tactics in Washington by focusing more on issues that have broad support among the public, like climate change.

In December, for instance, the Trump administration announced that it would phase out the coal tax credit for existing projects and move to a cap-and-trade system that would require utilities to use a fee to buy carbon credits from the market.

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