The Society for Environmental Journalists (SEJ), which promotes "excellence in environmental journalism," is gearing up for its annual conference in Roanoke, Virginia in mid-October. As the conference is in the "heart of coal country," numerous sessions will address "the status and future of big coal." Richard Pauli, who writes the NoEnergyTomorrow blog, notes that two of the conference's "premier sponsors” are the coal-addicted energy corporations American Electric Power and Dominion Power. "It's like seeing a Heart Association 10k race sponsored by a tobacco company," he wrote. In response, SEJ Executive Director Beth Parke stated that the corporate funding is for Virgina Tech, which will host the conference, and not directly for SEJ. Pauli noted SEJ's response, suggesting that "an improved analogy might be that of a track meet being held in a stadium that shows tobacco advertising. It may not be connected to the team, but they have to run below the sign."