The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Thursday, August 12, 2004

Dan Lauriski, coal's mole in the Administration, got confirmed how?

Back on August 4, I pondered whether coal might just turn out to be a critical issue in the presidential election, a point raised by Kerry's apparently wobbly policy on mountaintop mining [1].

Now, I see in Oxblog reference to an August 9 article in the New York Times on a key player on the Bush coal team, David Lauriski.

It will come as no surprise to connoisseurs of the administration that Lauriski's role as top man at the Mine Safety and Health Administration [2] is to minimise the amount of safety and health that mines need to provide [3].

According to this, up to his appointment to the MSHA job in May 2001,
Lauriski is the founder-in 1999-and president of Utah-based consulting firm Lauriski & Associates. Before that, Lauriski spent 15 years with PacifiCorp, serving as general manager of its Energy West Mining Co. Energy West is one of the largest U.S. underground coal producers.

Off-the-chart chutzpah; think, Brent Bozell as the next FCC Chairman (now, that could happen...).

You rack your brains to think of the hoo-ha when Lauriski came up for confirmation: wasn't there a filibuster or something? Didn't Kennedy unleash a fiery speech on the Senate floor?

No and no. I can find no record of their ever being a confirmation hearing for Lauriski; all I have is this from the Senate Health Committee which says
David D. Lauriski, of Utah, to be Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and health, vice J. Davitt McAteer:
Apr. 30, 2001. Referred to Committee.
May 7, 2001. Approved by Committee.
May 7, 2001. Reported to Senate by Mr. Kennedy.
which checks with the results of a nomination search on THOMAS, which adds that the Committee was
discharged by Unanimous Consent.

So, the response of Senate Democrats to this outrageous finger-in-the-eye nomination from a new administration seeking Congressional cooperation on other matters (humungous tax breaks included) was to issue not a peep, and allow the nomination to be approved on the nod.

And that Tribune of the People, the Senior Senator from Massachusetts, far from condemning it, was the Committee's mouthpiece in proposing it on the floor!

How liberal did you need to be to figure this appointment as bad government, not to mention a pretty dim prospect for the poor guys working underground?

And, just for the record, did John Kerry have hand, act or part in that unanimous consent agreement?

  1. No follow-up by big media on this, it seems.

  2. Which comes under the Department of Labor.

  3. I've no immediate desire to get into the details of mine safety rules. Sundry URLs to hand: this, this, this and this.

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