The Truth: Elaine Chao's Record on Kentucky Coal

- Secretary Elaine Chao and her husband, Senator McConnell, are both strong supporters of Kentucky coal.

Secretary Chao was not on the board of  Bloomberg Philanthropies when the decision to donate to the Sierra club was made. She joined a year later. Board members serve only in an advisory capacity and do not have a mechanism to object to individual grants.

- Secretary Chao believes her position on the board allows her to offer a strong pro-coal voice and provide assistance to organizations in Kentucky. 

- Bill Bissett, the President of the Kentucky Coal Association, said,"I believe it is important to recognize that Bloomberg's contribution was made well before Secretary Elaine Chao began her service as a board member of Bloomberg Philanthropies in April 2012...Since her appointment, her involvement as a proven pro-coal person has given Kentuckians someone 'on the inside' of these boards who can express our views and explain the social and economic harm that has been caused in the past...Since Chao joined the board, Bloomberg has made public statements demonstrating that he now understands that his actions against coal are hurting people."

- A spokesman for Bloomberg said that Elaine Chao was not involved in the decision to give money to the Sierra Club.