Sunday, January 11, 2009

Republican Deserts East Tennessee Communities in Their Hour of Need

An Oklahoma Republican thinks so much of the neighborhoods destroyed by TVA's coal ash spill that he walked out on testimony halfway through his committee's TVA coal ash spill hearing:

After listening to about 30 minutes of testimony from TVA CEO Kilgore, Sen. Inhofe then strode out of the committee hearing, before hearing any testimony from the "environmental extremist."

Inhofe, who has claimed that "environmental extremists exploit the [global warming] issue for fundraising purposes, raking in millions of dollars" has taken over $400,000 in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry since 2003, and over $218,000 from electrical utilities since 2003, according to

Coal company Murray Energy is listed as Inhofe's second-highest campaign contributor for the years between 2003-2008. Cleveland-based Murray is best known for the 2007 Crandall Canyon mining disaster which resulted in the deaths of six coal miners and three members of an MSHA rescue team. Murray CEO Robert E. "Bob" Murray also made news when he allegedly threatened federal mine inspectors, stating that Kentucky Senator "Mitch McConnell calls me one of the five finest men in America, and the last I checked, he was sleeping with your boss," a reference to McConnell's wife, Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao.

I don't care what you think about global warming and energy, it is bad form to desert the important discussion of this coal ash spill. And don't taxpayer dollars pay him to attend these committee meetings?

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