UPDATE: United Mine Workers members respond below.
Kentucky’s extremist GOP Senate candidate, Rand Paul, has said, “I believe business should be left alone from government.” That even extends to his state’s own accident prone mines, as TP reports:
In April, two miners were killed at the Dotiki Mine in Western Kentucky after the mine’s roof collapsed. The non-union mine had been cited for 840 safety violations by federal inspectors since 2009, and the Kentucky Office of Mine Safety and Licensing issued 31 orders to close sections of the mine or to shut down equipment during the same period. But when asked about the incident, Kentucky’s Republican Senate candidate, Rand Paul, said “maybe sometimes accidents happen.” And as it turns out, Paul doesn’t believe that the federal government has any responsibility at all to set safety standards to protect mine workers:
“The bottom line is: I’m not an expert, so don’t give me the power in Washington to be making rules,” Paul said at a recent campaign stop in response to questions about April’s deadly mining explosion in West Virginia”¦”You live here, and you have to work in the mines. You’d try to make good rules to protect your people here. If you don’t, I’m thinking that no one will apply for those jobs.“
As Amanda Terkel pointed out, a bunch of dirty coal groups lobbying for looser regulations have banded together to form a 527 to elect industry-friendly Republicans. One of the candidates they intend to back is, of course, Rand Paul. The Wonk Room takes a further look at how Paul’s positions favor law-breaking corporations over the safety of workers.
— This is a Think Progress cross-post.
The AP reports, “Paul’s Regulation Comments Irk Miners“:
Kentucky coal miners are criticizing Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul for suggesting that Congress shouldn’t be making mine safety rules.
United Mine Workers members told reporters Tuesday that miners depend on federal regulations to prevent injuries and deaths.
Miner Bernie Alvey says mining catastrophes “always bring on new laws that keep the rest of us safe later on.”
Paul’s campaign responded that he doesn’t want to exclude the federal government but wants more state and local control over mine safety.
Paul said in the August issue of Details magazine that since he’s “not an expert,” he shouldn’t be given the “power in Washington to be making (mining) rules.” Paul gave the interview in May before he won the Kentucky Republican primary