Jeb Bush is the highest profile speaker at a secretive three-day retreat in Bristol, Virginia, hosted by the CEOs of six coal companies, according to materials for the invitation-only event obtained by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) and shared with the Guardian.
The event, dubbed the “Coal & Investment Leadership Forum,” which started Sunday and goes through Tuesday, is taking place at an exclusive private golf course and resort called the “Olde Farm,” owned by the founder of United Coal Company, Jim McGlothlin. The private country club is known for its annual golf tournament in which players take sides in the Civil War for the South or the Union and which is described by McGlothlin as “our most cherished tradition.”
In addition to United Coal, the forum is being hosted by the CEOs of five other coal companies: Alliance Resource Partners, Alpha Natural Resources, Consol Energy, Drummond Company, and Arch Coal.
Bush is the only candidate expected to run for the 2016 presidential election speaking at the event.
The materials don’t say what Bush will be speaking about, but in a room of coal industry executives and potential major Bush campaign funders, climate change and proposed cuts in carbon emissions are sure to dominate the conversation.
The purpose of the event was outlined in a letter from the coal hosts to invitees: “Our industry needs to keep a loud voice with top representatives of our government.”