"More than 200 former congressional staff members, federal regulators and lawmakers are employed by the mining industry as lobbyists, consultants or senior executives, including dozens who work for coal companies with the worst safety records in the nation, a Washington Post analysis shows.
The revolving door has also brought industry officials into government as policy aides in Congress or officials of the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), which enforces safety standards.
The movement between industry and government allows both to benefit from crucial expertise, but mining safety experts say it often has led to a regulatory system tilted toward coal company interests. That, they say, has put miners at risk and left behind a flawed enforcement system that probably contributed to this month's Massey Energy mine explosion in West Virginia."
"Obama: Coal Mining Deaths Must Not Be ’Simply the Cost of Doing Business’" (Coal Tattoo)
"Union Official Turned U.S. Mine Safety Chief Shoulders a Burden" (Washington Post)
"With Coal Politics, a New Edge" (Washington Post)
"After W.Va. Mine Deaths, How Much Political Trouble Is Coal Industry In?" (Greenwire)