Monday, September 23, 2013

Ohio Coal vs. Our Safety

Following the firing of Ohio EPA specialist, George Elmaraghy, the Kasich administration was asked to provide documentation on the political maneuver.   People across Ohio were concerned about why a career employee who was an expert on water safety had been forced to retire.  Democratic State Rep. Debbie Phillips received some materials from the office of Gov. Kasich.


...Phillips said Wednesday that a lot of documents were included, and her office is currently working on going through them before deciding on the best next course of action.....

....Asked whether those communications confirm Elmaraghy's allegations, Phillips said they include language indicating the industry does not believe certain federal mandates are enforceable.

"Mr. Elmaraghy believes the (state) EPA would not accept permit applications that didn't comply with the federal EPA rules," she said. "And industry officials appeared to want the Ohio EPA to challenge the rules."

Federal law trumps state law. The selfish coal companies are running over Kasich and our environment without regard to our safety and future. This is what happens when political contributions dictate policy.  The PublicCampaignActionFund has more details including this info:

....The mining industry donated $305,165 to Kasich’s 2010 election campaign, according to Public Campaign Action Fund analysis of data from the National Institute on Money in State Politics, accessed through Sunlight Foundation's Influence Explorer. Most of that, $270,000, is directly from coal mining interests....

...The Ohio Coal Association donated just $1,000 to Kasich’s 2010 campaign, but employees at all three companies that approached the governor’s office about the permits donated much more....

...The other top giving coal industry donor is Boich Companies, whose executives (and spouses) gave $135,000 to Kasich’s 2010 campaign....

Wow.  Looks like money talks.

• Ohio's economy is not doing well.  Considering the unemployment rate in Ohio (7.3%) and the state poverty rate (16.3%), it is hard to imagine what another four years of Kasich would do to our lives.

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