Former Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) is best known for an embarrassing 2007 arrest following an incident in a Minneapolis airport bathroom. However, the allure of making big bucks lobbying against safety reforms for coal miners has brought Craig back into politics.
Craig has been working for Murray Energy, the largest privately held coal company in the nation (which has a tragic history of mining accidents), the Huffington Post reports:
The addition of a heavyweight like Craig to the coal lobby serves as a reminder of just how difficult it can be to pass mine safety reform in the face of industry influence, even in the aftermath of the worst mining disaster in 40 years. Since 29 miners died in an explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia in April 2010, a bill that would further empower the Mine Safety and Health Administration to shut down dangerous mines and punish unsafe operators has languished in Congress.
Murray Energy will be paying Craig’s lobby shop, New West Strategies, $200,000 to work on mine safety and greenhouse gas emissions legislation.
Craig may have claimed that he did nothing “inappropriate” in the wake of his 2007 scandal. However, lobbying against safety in one of the most dangerous jobs in the country is more than inappropriate – it’s wrong.