From 2001 to 2003, Stanley Suboleski was chief operating officer of mining company Massey Energy, which faces $2.4 billion in fines for more than 4,000 alleged Clean Water Act violations at its coal operations in West Virginia and Kentucky within the past six years. It’s only logical, then, that President Bush would nominate Suboleski, who is still an independent consultant with Massey, to be assistant secretary of fossil energy, a top post in the Department of Energy. The nomination “speaks to the Bush administration’s disregard for the environment and public health,” says Jack Spadaro, a former official with the U.S. Mine Health and Safety Administration. But a spokesperson for the National Mining Association raves, “The fact that this man comes from the coal industry and presumably understands its importance to the economy is encouraging.” Excuse us while we go vomit.

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