Should the DOJ Take Up the Letter Fraud Case?


Will the coal industry representative who may have lied under oath to Congress on Thursday face legal repercussions?

Steve Miller, CEO for American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, a major coal industry lobby group, said under oath that his organization “has never opposed the Waxman-Markey bill,” when in fact the group both publicly opposed the House climate bill and funded campaigns to convince legislators to vote against it.

Mother Jones contacted the Select Committee for Energy Independence and Global Warming to see whether they plan to pursue the issue. “We are currently reviewing the testimony and we will make any assessments on steps going forward after we review the testimony,” said Eben Burnham-Snyder, a spokesman for the committee.

If the committee decides that there’s cause to believe that Miller perjured himself, the matter would be turned over to the Department of Justice for investigation.

Activist groups are already hoping that the DOJ will get involved. After the details of the forged letters broke in August, the Sierra Club asked the DOJ to look into the case as potential wire fraud and MoveOn urged its members to sign a petition asking for a DOJ investigation.

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  • Kate Sheppard was a staff reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau from 2009 to 2013. She is now a senior reporter and the energy and environment editor at The Huffington Post. She can be reached by email at kate (dot) sheppard (at) huffingtonpost (dot) com and you can follow her on Twitter @kate_sheppard.