Gov. Haslam shrugs off Pilot links to coal company

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Gov. Bill Haslam says he is unconcerned that a company seeking coal mining rights on public land in Tennessee is managed by a board member of Pilot Flying J, the truck stop chain owned by the Haslam family.

Hillsborough Resources, a subsidiary of the Vitol Group, has been negotiating to mine coal within the Catoosa Wildlife Management Area near Crossville. The president and CEO of Vitol's North and South American operations, Mike Loya, serves on the Pilot board.

Tom Ingram, a close adviser to both the governor and Pilot, faces a hearing by the Tennessee Ethics Commission hearing over his failure to register as a lobbyist on behalf of Hillsborough.

Haslam, who owns an undisclosed stake in Pilot, told The Associated Press this week that he doesn't know Loya personally.

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