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Elaine Chao on Environment

Secretary of Labor (Pres. Bush Cabinet)


2000 slurry spill: $5600 fine; then $100,000 GOP donation

Upper Big Branch mine operator Massey Energy has also realized the investment value of buying friends in high places. Back in 2000, Massey was responsible for a coal slurry bill in Kentucky that was three times larger than the Exxon Valdez oil spill. The company very successfully limited the damage--not to the environment, but to its bottom line. According to a Mine Safety and Health Administration engineer investigating the spill, once Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell's wife, Elaine Chao, became secretary of labor--the labor department that oversees the MSHA--she put on the brakes. Two years after the spill, Massey was assessed a slap-on-the-wrist $5,600 fine. The same year, Massey's political action committee donated $100,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which McConnell chaired from 1997 to 2000. Cozy.
Source: Third World America, by Arianna Huffington, p.146 , Sep 2, 2010

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Page last updated: Dec 14, 2011