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CONSOL Energy Publishes 2011 Corporate Responsibility Report

PITTSBURGH, March 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- CONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNX) today released its first Corporate Responsibility Report, which outlines activities undertaken in 2011.  The report highlights the company's efforts to promote transparency across all of its operations, including coal, natural gas, research and development and its support services; community-focused outreach efforts and philanthropic investments; and safety and environmental initiatives.

"CONSOL Energy intends to publish this report annually. Our objective is to help all of our stakeholders—customers, employees, shareholders, communities, non-governmental organizations, regulators and others—better understand our corporate responsibility objectives, goals and achievements," said J. Brett Harvey, chief executive officer of CONSOL Energy. "Further, this report demonstrates just how strongly the company's ethics and core values – Safety, Compliance, and Continuous Improvement – influence the business decisions we make every day. They are the very fabric of CONSOL Energy and we have proven time and again that best in class performance in our core values directly translates to strong operational and financial results."

The following key accomplishments and program initiatives are among those included in the 2011 report:

Safety

  • We statistically achieved our best safety performance in company history:
    • Our Coal Division's performance was 2.5 times better than the underground mining industry average based on 2011 Mine Safety and Health Administration data. 
    • Our Natural Gas Division employees recorded over 5 million exposure hours without a lost time incident, continuing their Absolute ZERO safety performance since 1994.

Environment

    • We formalized and standardized our Environmental Management System to be consistent with the internationally accepted ISO-14001 standards.
    • CONSOL Energy completed an inventory of our total company greenhouse gas emissions.
    • We implemented 100% recycling of our flowback water from our Marcellus shale operations and moved completely to close-loop drilling processes to further reduce our environmental footprint.

Health and Wellness

    • We launched a company-wide Wellness Initiative to incentivize our employees and their families to undertake preventative diagnostic health assessments, with a participation rate of over 99% of our employees.

Community

    • Our philanthropic budget of $7 million provided support to worthy efforts ranging from the Boy Scouts of America to educational funding for use by our local colleges and universities to local food banks in need of economic support.

Economic

    • CONSOL Energy employs over 9,000 employees and an additional 4,500 contractors, paying more than $2 billion in federal and state taxes.
    • The company recorded production of 153.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas and 62.5 million tons of coal and recognized net income of $632 million.

"Looking forward, our short term strategic priorities are to continue to build on the "Absolute ZERO" program and to fully integrate the ZERO Accident culture into CONSOL Energy and its contractors.  In the areas of environmental and compliance, our priorities are to establish clear targets for our Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) based upon our 2011 performance," added Katharine Fredriksen, CONSOL Energy's Senior Vice President- Environmental Strategy and Regulatory Affairs.  "We used the Global Reporting Initiative reporting principles in the development of this report and are purposefully investing time and effort to make sure we set ambitious targets suitable for our business and in line with our core values."

To view CONSOL Energy's 2011 Corporate Responsibility Report, visit http://consolenergy.com/corporateresponsibilityreport

About CONSOL Energy

CONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNX) is a Pittsburgh-based producer of coal and natural gas. It has 12 bituminous coal mining complexes in four states and reports proven and probable coal reserves of 4.5 billion tons.  The company's premium Appalachian coals are sold worldwide to electricity generators and steelmakers. In natural gas, CONSOL has transformed itself from a pure-play coalbed methane producer to a full-fledged exploration and production company. The company is a leading producer in the Marcellus Shale, has an active exploration program in the Utica Shale and has proved natural gas reserves of over 3.5 trillion cubic feet. Operational safety is the company's top core value and CONSOL boasts a record of almost two times better than the industry average for underground bituminous coal mines.  In 2011, the company recorded its best safety record since it was founded in 1864.  CONSOL Energy is a member of the Standard & Poor's 500 Equity Index and the Fortune 500. Additional information about CONSOL Energy can be found at its Web site: www.consolenergy.com.

About GRI

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is a non-profit organization that promotes economic, environmental and social sustainability. GRI provides all companies and organizations with a comprehensive sustainability reporting framework that is widely used around the world.  For more information, visit www.globalreporting.org.

Forward-Looking Statements

Various statements in this release, including those that express a belief, expectation or intention, may be considered forward-looking statements (as defined in Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934) that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from projected results. Accordingly, investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a prediction of actual results. The forward-looking statements may include projections and estimates concerning the timing and success of specific projects and our future production, revenues, income and capital spending. When we use the words "believe," "intend," "expect," "may," "should," "anticipate," "could," "estimate," "plan," "predict," "project," or their negatives, or other similar expressions, the statements which include those words are usually forward-looking statements. When we describe strategy that involves risks or uncertainties, we are making forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements in this press release, if any, speak only as of the date of this press release; we disclaim any obligation to update these statements. We have based these forward-looking statements on our current expectations and assumptions about future events. While our management considers these expectations and assumptions to be reasonable, they are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive, regulatory and other risks, contingencies and uncertainties, most of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond our control. These risks, contingencies and uncertainties relate to, among other matters, the following: deterioration in global economic conditions in any of the industries in which our customers operate, or sustained uncertainty in financial markets cause conditions we cannot predict; a significant or  extended decline in prices we receive for our coal and natural gas affecting our operating results and cash flows; our customers extending existing contracts or entering into new long-term contracts for coal; our reliance on major customers; our inability to collect payments from customers if their creditworthiness declines; the disruption of rail, barge, gathering, processing and transportation facilities and other systems that deliver our coal and natural gas to market; a loss of our competitive position because of the competitive nature of the coal and natural gas industries, or a loss of our competitive position because of overcapacity in these industries impairing our profitability; our inability to maintain satisfactory labor relations; coal users switching to other fuels in order to comply with various environmental standards related to coal combustion emissions; the impact of potential, as well as any adopted regulations relating to greenhouse gas emissions on the demand for coal and natural gas; foreign currency fluctuations could adversely affect the competitiveness of our coal abroad; the risks inherent in coal and natural gas operations being subject to unexpected disruptions, including geological conditions, equipment failure, timing of completion of significant construction or repair of equipment, fires, explosions, accidents and weather conditions which could impact financial results; decreases in the availability of, or increases in, the price of commodities or capital equipment used in our mining and natural gas operations; decreases in the availability of, an increase in the prices charged by third party contractors or, failure of third party contractors to provide quality services to us in a timely manner could impact our profitability; obtaining and renewing governmental permits and approvals for our coal and natural gas operations; the effects of government regulation on the discharge into the water or air, and the disposal and clean-up of, hazardous substances and wastes generated during our coal and natural gas operations; the effects of stringent federal and state employee health and safety regulations, including the ability of regulators to shut down a mine or well; the potential for liabilities arising from environmental contamination or alleged environmental contamination in connection with our past or current coal and gas operations; the effects of mine closing, reclamation, gas well closing and certain other liabilities; uncertainties in estimating our economically recoverable coal and gas reserves; costs associated with perfecting title for coal or gas rights on some of our properties; the outcomes of various legal proceedings, which are more fully described in our reports filed under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934; the impacts of various asbestos litigation claims; increased exposure to employee related long-term liabilities; our accruals for obligations for long-term employee benefits are based upon assumptions which, if inaccurate, could result in our being required to expend greater amounts than anticipated; due to our participation in an underfunded multi-employer pension plan, we have exposure under that plan that extends beyond what our obligation would be with respect to our employees and in the future we may have to make additional cash contributions to fund the pension plan or incur withdrawal liability;  lump sum payments made to retiring salaried employees pursuant to our defined benefit pension plan exceeding total service and interest cost in a plan year; acquisitions and joint ventures that we recently have completed or entered into or may make in the future including the accuracy of our assessment of the acquired businesses and their risks, achieving any anticipated synergies, integrating the acquisitions and unanticipated changes that could affect assumptions we may have made and divestitures we anticipate may not occur or produce anticipated proceeds including joint venture partners paying anticipated carry obligations; the terms of our two significant existing gas joint ventures restrict our flexibility and actions taken by the other party in our gas joint ventures may impact our financial position; the anti-takeover effects of our rights plan could prevent a change of control; risks associated with our debt; replacing our natural gas reserves, which if not replaced, will cause our gas reserves and gas production to decline; our ability to find adequate water sources for use in gas drilling, or our ability to dispose of water used or removed from strata in connection with our gas operations at a reasonable cost and within applicable environmental rules; our hedging activities may prevent us from benefiting from price increases and may expose us to other risks; and other factors discussed in the 2011 Form 10-K under "Risk Factors," as updated by any subsequent Form 10-Qs, which are on file at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

SOURCE CONSOL Energy Inc.

Media Relations: Lynn Seay, +1-724-485-4065, lynnseay@consolenergy.com; Investor Relations: Brandon Elliott, +1-724-485-4526, brandonelliott@consolenergy.com

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