Phillip M. Gonet

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Phillip M. Gonet is the president of the Illinois Coal Association (ICA), a lobby group for Illinois coal producers.

The ICA states on its website that Gonet's duties "include the coordination of relations between the Illinois coal mining industry and the various state agencies regulating the industry or interacting with it in some other way."[1]

Support for the Heartland Institute

In May 2012 the Illinois Coal Association became a last minute financial sponsor of the Heartland Institute's conference for global warming sceptics. "We support the work they are doing and so we thought we would finally make a contribution to the organisation," he said. Heartland's conference faced a barrage of criticism and the withdrawal of a number of sponsors after the institute launched a billboard advertising campaign which equated those who believed in global warming with the Unabomber. Gonet told the Guradian that criticism of the ad was "moot", "pointless" and "absurd".[2]

"I made a contribution mainly in support of a conference that is designed to make balanced information available to the public on the issue of global warming … In general, the message of the Heartland Institute is something the Illinois Coal Association supports," Gonet said.[2]

Political donations

Newsmeat records Gonet, on behalf of the ICA, as having made 19 political donations to support candidates since 2004.[3]


A May 1991 article listing appointments by the then announcement by then Illinois Governor Jim Edgar stated that Gonet was was appointed the executive director of the Illinois Commerce Commission (I1CC). The I1CC regulates investor-owned utilities and intrastate transportation in Illinois. The article stated that "Gonet had most recently served three years as Gov. Thompson's deputy chief of staff Gonet has been in state government since 1975 when he went to work as an analyst in the governor's Bureau of the Budget. In 1978 he moved to the Illinois House where he directed GOP staff for the Appropriations Committee for five years. From 1983-87 he was director of fiscal affairs for the Board of Regents."[4]


Articles and Resources


  1. Illinois Coal Association, "Mission Statement", Illinois Coal Association website, accessed May 2012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Suzanne Goldenberg, "Heartland Institute facing uncertain future as staff depart and cash dries up", Guardian, May 20, 2012.
  3. "Phillip Gonet", Newsmeat, accessed May 2012.
  4. "Edgar appoints six to cabinet", Illinois Issues, Volume 31, May 1991.
  5. "Reliant Energy Wholesale Group and Springfield City Water, Light and Power Announces Long-Term Marketing Agreement", Media Release, February 16, 1999.
  6. "Report on September program", Historico: The newsletter of the Sangamon County Historical Society, October 2006, page 2.
  7. "Illinois Channel Advisory Council Member Phil Gonet", March 13, 2012.
  8. "FutureGen for Illinois Task Force", Media Release, Office of Coal Development Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, October 17, 2006.

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