Laura Sheehan, a former Capitol Hill aide and Democratic political operative, is joining the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) to be the industry group’s senior vice president for communications.

She arrives as big power companies and coal producers – a core part of ACCCE’s membership – are threatened by planned federal climate rules and competition from booming production of natural gas, a competing fuel source.

Sheehan was most recently a managing director at PR giant Burson-Marstellar’s D.C. office, and before that was senior vice president of public affairs for the American Gas Association, according to ACCCE.

Her Capitol Hill and political experience includes work for Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), who served as chairman and ranking Democrat on the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee. Sheehan’s also a former policy director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.