Friday, November 23, 2012

Beshear Buys Off Fired Whistleblower

No surprise,  but as it is and has been for decades unwritten-but-practically-official Commonwealth of Kentucky policy to obey Big Coal in the matter of mine inspections, it would have been nice, for once, to get the facts out in open court.
The Steve Beshear administration has settled for $270,000 a lawsuit brought by its former director of mine permits who claimed he was fired three years ago for blocking illegal permits sought by coal giant Alliance Resources.

The state Energy and Environment Cabinet released the five-page settlement with Ron Mills Wednesday morning.

It calls for the state to pay Mills $270,000 in exchange for dropping a lawsuit he brought in Franklin Circuit Court claiming he was fired for blowing the whistle on what he said was an illegal state policy.

The agreement states that the settlement is not an admission of “any liability, violation or wrongdoing” by the state.

And the agreement includes a confidentiality provision prohibiting the parties from discussing settlement negotiations.
Yeah, exactly. And $270,000 is far less than what Kentucky taxpayers have already paid to protect Beshear's ass with delaying tactics over the past three years.

Everybody knows what goes on between Big Coal and Frankfort. But it's never been put on the record, and it needs to be.  Until it is, we'll never be able to change it.


Victor said...

Well, NY has started fracking, so we'll soon see what we Yankees are capable of - damage, wise...

Yellow Dog said...

Not very long ago you'd have a hard time persuading me there was a fossil-fuel extraction method that was more destructive to the environment, communities and human health than coal mining, but fracking takes that prize by a mile.

A friend recently flew in a small plane over eastern Ohio where the landscape was nothing but fracking pads and pipelines - as ugly from the air as mountaintop removal, which is saying quite a bit.

I hate to say it, but if the fracking industry gets even half the political influence there that coal has here, you all are completely fucked.