Thursday, March 09, 2006

A Stickler for Mine Safety

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions yesterday approved Richard M. Stickler to head MSHA on a strict party-line vote, according to an AP story in the Courier-Journal.

His approval by the full Senate seems like a shoo-in.

Stickler's nomination was equally divisive with stakeholders: industry groups that spoke about the nomination were supportive, while the UMWA and AFL-CIO were strongly opposed.

Stickler headed Pennsylvania's Bureau of Deep Mine Safety from 1997 to 2003, when he retired. Before that, he worked his way up through the ranks in BethEnergy's coal mines. He also spent two years with Massey subsidiary Performance Coal.

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