Coal Mine Companies Admit to Capitalizing on Supreme Court Ruling

August 28, 2010

So tell me — how do you feel about the Upper Big Branch coal mine disaster earlier this year that claimed 29 lives? Just a product of that kind of industry, you say? Something the workers must accept? How about all the disasters that preceeded that one? Are they acceptable? Yeah, I know – it’s kind of tough to get personal when you’re either sitting in your office, home, or great retirement community. Well, it’s about to get worse, thank to the GOP’s Supreme Court.

Several major coal companies hope to use newly loosened campaign-finance laws to pool their money and defeat Democratic congressional candidates they consider ‘anti-coal’”. That’s the beginning paragraph in an article in the Bluegrass Politics published back in July. What is not said is the coal companies want to elect Republicans who will ensure loosely-enforced regulations, and will work to get rid of regulations coal mine companies don’t like.

The article goes on to say “the companies hope to create a politically active nonprofit under Section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code, so they won’t have to publicly disclose their activities — such as advertising — until they file a tax return next year, long after the Nov. 2 election” [bold added]. You may recall that Democrats wanted to pass a bill that would require these people to immediately disclose their countributions so voters would know who was buying their vote before they voted. But the Republicans voted against it.

Not amazing is the fact that the coal companies dub those who want them to operate in an safe manner as “anti-coal” proponents. They nor anyone else can produce a single example where a lawmaker said they were anti-coal and wanted to shut down the coal industry. Calling them anti-coal is just a way of demonizing them, when the fact is they are trying to save people’s lives by making the companies act responsible. And any of us who don’t think killing people is OK to make a dollar should not be supporting any politician that obviously does — regardless of how much advertisment they get from blood money.


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