Romney Energy Aide Linked to Coal Industry Jim Talent runs lobbying firm paid by Big Coal By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff Posted Sep 12, 2011 4:31 PM CDT 16 comments Comments WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 11: Former Sen. Jim Talent testifies before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee December 11, 2008 in Washington, DC. Talent testified before a full committee... (Getty Images) (Newser) – An energy advisor who helped craft Mitt Romney's pro-coal policy also runs a lobbying firm that's paid by, you guessed it, a big coal company. Ex-Missouri senator Jim Talent co-chairs the lobbying firm Mercury Public Affairs, which receives $125,000 a year from Peabody Energy to promote its coal interests, Salon reports. Mercury, Talent, and Romney's reps have all have no comment on the connection. Talent promoted coal in Romney's new economic plan, which supports ending carbon regulation and fast-tracking energy approval processes, the Boston Globe reports. Talent wrote that Romney has reviewed the ways "our government stops us from getting energy: moratoriums, ‘permitoriums,’ bureaucratic hostility ... [with the effect] of making the recovery of energy so expensive and so uncertain that people look for energy in other countries and not here."